*Dr. Anil Batta


Cr (III) is the most stable form in biological systems[3,4] it does not penetrate biological membranes easily and it appears that the transport of specific chromium compounds is strictly regulated by the organism. Cr (III) ion has a strong tendency to form co-ordination compounds with a very slow reaction rate.[5] That slow rate suggests that chromium would exert a structural function rather than an active site in an enzyme, which may explain that no chromium-containing enzymes have been identified.[5] The oligopeptide chromodulin binds chromic ions in response to an insulin-mediated chromic ion flux and the metal-saturated oligopeptide can bind to an insulin-stimulated insulin receptor, activating the receptor’s tyrosine kinase activity. Thus, chromodulin appears to play a role in an auto amplification mechanism in insulin signaling. The molecular agent responsible for transporting chromium from mobile pools to insulin-sensitive cells is probably the metal transport protein transferrin. Chromium from the popular dietary supplement chromium picolinate enters cells via a different mechanism. Release of chromium from chromium picolinate for use in cells requires reduction of the chromic center, a process that can lead potentially to the production of harmful hydroxyl radicals. On the other side Chromium is an essential trace element required for normal carbohydrate metabolism. The biological function of chromium is closely associated with that of insulin and most chromium-stimulated reactions are also insulin dependent. Proper chromium nutrition leads to a decreased requirement for insulin and also an improved blood lipid profile. Most fresh foods and minimally processed foods are good sources of dietary chromium. Inorganic chromium does not potentiate insulin action and must be converted to an organic biologically active form. An organic form of chromium capable of potentiating insulin action has been isolated from brewer's yeast and was shown to contain: Cr, nicotinic acid and a combination of amino acids. Synthetic insulin potentiating organic chromium complexes containing chromium, nicotinic acid, glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid or chromium, nicotinic acid and glutathione have been prepared. These complexes have not been purified to homogeneity since they dissociate during purification. Suitable analytical bioassays are available to measure total chromium and the organic biologically-active forms of chromium, respectively. A clinical intervention study was carried out of chromium. Results from the trials noted above support the view that chromium supplementation, especially in the form of CrP, in patients with type 1, type 2, gestational, or steroid-induced diabetes can improve both glucose and insulin metabolism.

Keywords: Chromium, Diabetes mellitus, insulin, Glutamic acid, nicotinic acid.

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