Have you ever taken a
trip to the doctor only to be told that your ailment was just a "normal part
of getting older" ? that's what doctors have thought for years about glucose
tolerance and insulin efficiency. Both gradually decline as you age.
But what if those declines are diet-related instead of age-related ?
Could you hold off, or reverse, the effects of aging ? Some researchers
Protects your proteins. One aging theory says that you age
because your main energy source -- glucose -- damages your body's proteins.
It causes them to hook together. An example is collagen, a protein that
makes up your skin, bones, ligaments, and cartilage. When your collagen
proteins hook to each other, all of your tissues can get stiff. when you
think of stiffness, you think of the achy joints of arthritis, but your
heart muscle is a tissue that can get stiff, too.
Chromium helps move sugar out of the blood, so it protects your proteins
from damage. The anti-aging possibilities are huge.
Rejuvenates your hypothalamus. Another theory on how
chromium helps keep you young has to do with a cherry-sized region of your
brain, the hypothalamus.
Located behind your eyes, the hypothalamus acts as a middleman between
the higher regions of the brain and your nervous system. If you are
frightened, nervous, or excited, the brain sends messages to the
hypothalamus, which starts series of activities such as faster
heartbeat, widening of the pupils, and increased blood flow to the muscles.
But the hypothalamus does much, much more. It is involved in your body
temperature, your need for sleep, your appetite for sex, and your moods and
emotions. it gets messages from the rest of your body about sugar levels in
the blood and your body's water content. If those are too low, the
hypothalamus sends a signal that tells you it's time to get something to eat
Some of the jobs performed by the hypothalamus are controlled by blood
sugar levels, so it makes sense that reducing the amount of sugar in your
blood will keep the hypothalamus from over-working or from sending out
Offers heart disease protection. Do you remember what your
body's main fuel source is ? That's right -- the sugar pumping through your
bloodstream. And if you don't have enough chromium, your body will have
trouble converting that blood sugar into energy.
If the body can't use its main fuel source effectively, it has to find
another one, namely fat. The problem with the body using fat as its energy
source is that some of the byproducts of the process are made into
cholesterol. Possible result : heart disease.
In one study, a group of people with heart disease had an average
chromium level 41 percent lower than a group of people without heat disease.
Several studies have shown how chromium reduces heart disease risk :
• In lab experiments, rats fed a high-sugar, chromium-deficient diet
had a shocking buildup of fat in their arteries. When the rats got the
same high-sugar diet with a chromium supplement, their cholesterol
levels went down significantly, and they had less fat buildup in their
• Another project studied 72 men who had been taking beta blockers
for an average of seven years. Unfortunately, beta blockers tend to
reduce HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol). Chromium, 600 mcg a
day, boosted the men's HDL levels, so it may provide extra protection
for people taking beta blockers.
• HDL levels jumped from an average of 34 mg/dl to an average of 44.1
mg/dl in a group of 76 men and women with heart disease when they took a
chromium supplement. they took 250 mcg per day for several months.
What do those numbers mean to your health ? The risk of heart disease
goes down two to three points with every mg/dl increase in HDL cholesterol.
the 10 mg/dl increase in HDL cholesterol could lead to a potential 30
percent decrease in heart disease risk.
Helps hypoglycemia. Taking chromium dramatically improved
symptoms for a group of people with hypoglycemia. Their symptoms included
severe shaking, blurred vision, sleepiness, and heavy sweating. The
researchers asked the hypoglycemics to guess the part of the study when they
had been taking chromium instead of fake pill. the change was so pronounced
that every person in the study guessed correctly.