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Congress Encourages Research on Chromium Picolinate and Diabetes

New U.S. Bill Recognizes that Chromium Supplementation May Benefit Native American and Pediatric Populations A bill signed into law by President George Bush includes Report Language that recognizes that "chromium picolinate can restore normal glucose metabolism by enhancing insulin sensitivity," and encourages the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to expand its chromium research program. The bill supports earlier findings for chromium supplementation in delaying the onset of diabetes in certain high-risk populations including Native American and pediatric populations.

The language is part of the Fiscal 2005, Labor-Health Subcommittee on Appropriations bill that provides for an $800 million increase in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over last year as part of Congress’ continued commitment to curing disease through NIH research.

Chromium is an essential mineral that is critical to proper insulin function. Low chromium levels have been linked with increased risk of insulin-based diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Chromium picolinate is increasingly recognized among health professionals and consumers for its role as a safe and effective nutritional supplement for people with insulin resistance and at risk for diabetes — a worldwide epidemic affecting an estimated 190 million people.

To date, there are three NIH funded ongoing clinical trial programs studying chromium picolinate’s role in diabetic and pre-diabetic populations, and a fourth has been approved. In addition, the relationship between chromium and weight gain is being evaluated in the Look AHEAD Study by John Hopkins researchers.

Congressional Report Language: Chromium nutrition and diabetes. – Recent research has demonstrated that chromium picolinate can restore normal glucose metabolism by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Impaired insulin sensitivity is a major factor leading to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In clinical studies in people with type 2 diabetes, chromium supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce elevated blood sugar levels and improve long-term blood sugar control. The beneficial effects were predominantly seen in populations who were overweight and insulin resistant. Chromium supplementation in overweight pediatric populations may restore normal glucose metabolism, and thereby reduce or delay the onset of diabetes. Therefore, NCCAM is encouraged to expand upon these early findings to support research on chromium supplementation as a safe, effective, low cost nutritional therapy for type 2 diabetes.
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DID YOU KNOW:

Diabetes Deaths Increases by 11 Percent in New York
New York Health Department announced Wednesday that, Diabetes deaths has become the fourth leading cause of death in the city.
Health records show that 1,891 New Yorkers died of diabetes in 2003, up from 1,704 the year before, when diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death.
Health officials attributed the increase to rising levels of obesity among New Yorkers, and also to a higher risk of the disease in a population that is living longer. Diabetes was the third-leading cause of death among those between 55 and 74.
"This is of utmost concern because diabetes, which can be controlled, has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and it remains an under-diagnosed condition," Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said in a statement.
Diabetes is much more prevalent among Hispanics and blacks than whites and Asians, the agency said. Among New Yorkers ages 18 through 39, Hispanics are four times more likely and blacks are twice as likely to have diabetes than whites and Asians.

Heart disease, cancer, and pneumonia were the top three causes of death among all New Yorkers in the last two years.

Among New Yorkers under the age of 65, the three leading causes of death in 2003 were cancer, heart disease, and HIV and AIDS, the Health Department said.

The 67-page vital statistics survey (www.nyc.gov/html/doh/pdf/vs /2003sum.pdf) showed that the top three causes of death among city residents remained the same from the year before: Heart disease was again the leading killer, causing 23,875 deaths last year. Cancer was second with 13,826 deaths, and influenza and pneumonia was third with 2,692 deaths. Alzheimer’s disease was identified for the first time as a leading cause of death in people over age 75.