Insulin resistance that can lead to the damaging health effects of type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent and concerning health issues of the last two decades. One in ten U.S. adults are now diagnosed with the disease and as many as one in four seniors (age 65 and older).1 Certainly lifestyle choices, such as poor diet and little or no activity leading to excess weight, are a factor.
But we now also know that chromium deficiency is strongly correlated with a higher risk of insulin resistance and can predispose a person, especially aging populations and those at risk such as pregnant women, children and athletes, to obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Dietary intake of chromium is well below optimal with as many as 90 percent of Americans below the minimum suggested safe intake of 50 mcg daily.2
However, research now indicates it is not just about the chromium. Back in the 1950s scientists discovered that chromium bound to yeast was linked to insulin function and blood sugar management. An organic, amino-acid bound chromium from brewer’s yeast
GTF Chromium is now known to be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. This yeast-bound form of chromium is absorbed well by the body and has been shown to help improve glucose regulation and support healthy body fat levels and ideal weight.3,4 The yeast is made of proteins, amino acids, dietary fiber, polysaccharides and enzymes that organically bind and release nutrients like chromium into the gut during digestion.
Food bound versus ‘organically’ bound
While many companies are looking to add chromium formulations to their portfolio, it is important to note that chromium form matters. Food-bound forms have a long history of safe and efficacious use, but non-food or ‘pseudo-organic’ forms are created through industrial chemical processes using petrochemicals and harsh solvents, and have little supporting evidence for efficacy. Chromium picolinate, for example, is synthetically produced, and not food-bound or generated by a living organism. Picolinate and polynicotinate are ‘pseudo-organic’ chemicals used to chelate the chromium and are not found in the body at any notable level.5
The science on these forms has yielded conflicting results. Bioavailability of non-food forms is low due to degradation in the stomach at low pH levels. Thus, picolinate has been shown to be about equally absorbed as inorganic chromium salt.
At best, due to their poor absorption rate of 2 percent, higher levels of chromium must be used in products to attain an appreciable effect. At worst, studies suggest a potential safety issue from these synthesized non-food forms that at high concentrations may lead to cytotoxic, genotoxic and mutagenics effects that could cause DNA damage.
GTF chromium from chromium-enriched yeast is a better option. A panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that its bioavailability is potentially up to 10 times higher than that of chromium from chromium chloride. GTF chromium has also been shown in studies to control glucose levels by promoting uptake by muscles and organs; stimulate burning of glucose for energy; reduce fat levels in blood; and support adrenal and immune response.6,7,8,9
For formulators, it is also easier to work with. Because chromium is a micronutrient with clinical doses of below 1 mg, formulators must use extreme care in blending non-food forms to avoid variations that can become toxic. GTF chromium allows manufacturers to make a higher quality product from better dosage precision and less variation in potency.
To learn more about important opportunities to develop relevant products with Cypress Ingredients’ GTF Excell Chromium Yeast 250 for support of healthy blood sugar metabolism and overall health, we have gathered a range of resources to cover your business needs, from current clinical research to formulation insights and strategies.
Inside our Blood Sugar Management Spotlight:
- Understanding GTF Chromium: benefits of food-bound chromium from yeast
- Formulator's Corner, by Jim Roufs, MS, RD: Blood Sugar Management
- Turnkey Formulations: Blood Sugar Management
- Research Review, by Mark Whitacre, PhD: GTF Excell High-Chromium Yeast
- Product Highlights: Best in Class GTF Chromium From Vitamin World... it's about the yeast
- White Paper: Food-Bound Chromium and the Scientific Support for GTF Excell High-Chromium Yeast
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.