You may have heard that chromium is an effective nutrient for diabetes. Some doctors have touted its ability to improve glucose intolerance. While some diabetics may see some benefit with the nutrient, not everyone will. In fact, one specific group of diabetics is unlikely to see any benefit at all.

A new study shows that chromium may not be useful in obese Type-2 diabetics. The researchers conducted the randomized, double-blind study over six months. Neither 500 mcg nor 1,000 mcg daily helped reduce insulin requirements or glycosylated hemoglobin. The latter is a marker of high-glucose damage.

Not all nutrients touted to help a condition really do help. I've repeatedly said that if you have Type-2 diabetes, don't rely on drugs or supplements. Chromium may help a little. But the best way to beat Type-2 diabetes is to exercise more and modify your diet. The most important modification is to eliminate all processed foods, especially breads, crackers, etc., and to reduce your fat intake.

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Kleefstra N., Houweling, S.T., et al. "Chromium treatment has no effect in patients with poorly controlled, insulin-treated type 2 diabetes in an obese Western population: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial," Diabetes Care, 2006; 29(3): 521-5.

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