*Dr. Anil Batta


Glucose tolerance factor (GTF) has been isolated from a commercially available yeast extract powder, by a simple procedure under mild conditions. This cationic yellow material enhances considerably CO2 production in several yeast strains, after a lag time which can be eliminated by preincubation with glucose. The enhancement of CO2 production by GTF is not specific for glucose, and its effect on galactose raises the possibility that it influences the transport of the sugar to the cells. The ineffectiveness of GTF on cell free extract and the results of a Michaels plot for CO2 production support this hypothesis. Chromium is an essential nutrient required for sugar and fat metabolism. Normal dietary intake of Cr for humans is suboptimal. The estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake for Cr is 50 to 200 microg. However, most diets contain less than 60% of the minimum suggested intake of 50 micro g. Insufficient dietary intake of Cr leads to signs and symptoms that are similar to those observed for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Supplemental Cr given to people with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes leads to improved blood glucose, insulin and lipid variables. Chromium has also been shown to improve lean body mass in humans and swine. Response to Cr is dependent upon form and amount of supplemental Cr. Chromium is a nutrient; therefore, it will only be of benefit to those who are marginally or overtly Cr deficient. Trivalent Cr has a very large safety range and there have been no documented signs of Cr toxicity in any of the nutritional studies at levels up to 1 mg per day. In this article the emphasis is laid on chromium role in the biological system.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood glucose, chromium toxicity.

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