Type II Diabetes and Chromium
Warning: Any potential diabetic patient should seek professional help from a licensed health care provider specializing in diabetes and ask if this natural therapy is right for you. If you are currently taking insulin, do not stop until you consult with your diabetic doctor. Diabetes is a very serious disease.
I began my medical practice in 1993. One of my specialties is clinical nutrition. I approach my clinical nutrition differently from classical nutrition doctors. I don’t guess. I utilize extensive lab testing, followed by an extensive analysis, before making any nutritional recommendations. I do not do muscle testing, only professional lab tests which can be reproduced with the same results when using the same samples. These tests are conducted by state and federally licensed laboratories.
Type II diabetes is a real concern to me. Since 2002 I have witnessed changes in acceptable lab values by conventional medicine. Plus, critical medical research from 1957, which found a successful way to prevent and treat Type II Diabetes, has been forgotten. I believe I have found the missing link for successfully treating Type II Diabetes, simply by recognizing, then verifying for myself, this extremely important medical discovery from 1957.
Let me explain who I am.
There are four primary branches of doctors, licensed to be primary care providers:
Note: All end in “opathic.”
By definition, Allopathic medicine works in disharmony with nature by using drugs to subdue biological reactions. Allopathic Doctors are looking for disease states, then treating those diseases with prescription medications. The common name for an Allopathic Doctor is “Medical Doctor, M.D..”
Naturopathic medicine works in harmony with nature by emphasizing natural medicines as much as possible. Occasions do arise when a Naturopathic Doctor may need to prescribe prescriptions medications for a short period of time. Their common name is, “Naturopathic Doctor, N.D.”
I am a Naturopathic Doctor.
Definition of Diabetes
A) Carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar: a.k.a. glucose.
B) Diabetes is the inability to control narrowly defined blood sugar levels.
Types of Diabetes
A) Type I – Pancreas is not producing enough insulin to meet bodily demands.
- Insulin is needed to carry blood sugar (glucose) to target cells.
- Usually occurs in childhood due to a genetic defect in the pancreas or an autoimmune disorder.
- Can occur in adulthood from cancer, injuries, or anything that can damage the pancreas.
B) Type II – Blood sugar is not able to enter target cell membranes.
- Target cells need a membrane receptor site so insulin can attach to the cell and deposit glucose.
- If blood sugar cannot get into cells, cells become “hypoglycemic,” too little sugar.
- Patient is always lacking in energy.
- The excess sugar makes the blood too glucose rich, making the patient’s blood “hyperglycemic”, too much blood sugar, which is diagnosed as diabetes.
- If blood sugar cannot get into cells, cells become “hypoglycemic,” too little sugar.
- Cell membranes must have a specific mineral to activate the receptor sites.
A) Type I: 5 – 10%
B) Type II: 90 – 95%
C) Number of Diabetics in the United States alone: 30.3 million
Testing parameters have changed over the last 17 years.
A) Two standard tests exist to test for blood sugar levels.
- Blood glucose is a 12 hour fast. It is only good for the last 12 hours.
- Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) tests the amount of blood sugar incorporated into red blood cells, (RBCs), during manufacture.
- RBCs are manufactured inside bone marrow.
- Since the life span of RBCs ranges between three and four months, this test will accurately show blood sugar levels present from the previous 3-4 months.
B) Permanent damages begin to micro-capillary sized blood vessels when HbA1C reaches alab value of 6.0 or more.
- The first tissues affected are the feet, eyes and male sexual organs.
- Later it affects the heart, kidneys and nerves.
- Diabetes can lead to foot amputation, blindness, intimacy problems, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve pains and of course eventually death.
C) Naturopathic lab values for HbA1C are recommended at 5.6 or less. This is a “healthy” range.
D) Allopathic lab values in 2002 for HbA1C were 5.9.
- The Allopathic lab values slowly keep changing. IE: 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 etc.
a) In 2018 their value was 6.4.
b) In spring 2019 it has risen again, to 6.41.
c) According to allopathic medicine, you are not diabetic until your HbA1C is 6.42 or higher. If you are between 6.0 and 6.41, no worries, you are just “pre-diabetic.”
d) Their value is not based upon what is healthy, it is based on “population averages.”
e) This part makes me want to scream, but all that would do is damage my ears! “So as the population gets sicker by the month, allopathic lab values are broadened. Therefore those sick people are not sick any longer?”
1950’s Comatose Patients
In the 1950’s, it was discovered comatose patients being fed intravenously for more than three months all developed Type II diabetes. The doctors in charge of keeping these patient alive, 1957 felt something in the feeding formula was missing.
1957 Human Research
In 1957, Dr. Walter Mertz and Kenneth Schwartz isolated a compound from pork kidney, when given to Type II Diabetics always fixed their diabetes. They performed their research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Initially they called their discovery the “glucose tolerance factor.” Two years later they identified the primary molecule as Chromium.
Their explanation of the mechanism of action (how chromium works):
“Chromium binds insulin to cell membranes and helps regulate blood glucose metabolism in that manner.”
Whenever I’ve attended a continuing education seminar for doctors where there was an allopathic doctor speaking who specializes in diabetes, and I always ask about Dr. Mertz’s 1957 study. The response I have always gotten to date was one of confusion. So far, none of these doctors have heard of Dr. Mertz’s NIH research. I must ask why? Could it be that Diabetes is a multibillion dollar industry? I would not. These were doctors who run active practices. They are the doctors patients turn to for answers.
In Naturopathic Medical school we studied research conducted by Dr. Mertz. In 1957, Dr. Walter Mertz published his diabetes PhD thesis in the publication, “Federation Proceedings”, which was the official journal of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Mertz’s early chromium research was performed at the NIH where he and Kenneth Schwartz performed their research.
Think of chromium as the “gate keeper.” When chromium is attached to cell walls, insulin is now able to bind itself to that cell wall. Now and only now can blood glucose (blood sugar) enter into those cells. What happens when chromium levels are low to extremely low? Insulin cannot bind to cell walls. Now glucose cannot enter the cells. The cells become starved for glucose. The inside of those cells become “hypoglycemic” (glucose levels are too low). The patient’s cells are starved for energy and now the patient is loading up on simple carbohydrates in an attempt to quickly satisfy the cells’ need for energy. Because blood glucose is not being extracted normally from the blood and delivered into cells, glucose levels in the blood begin to rise rapidly and can reach dangerously high levels. The blood has now become “hyperglycemic” (too much blood glucose) and Adult Onset Type II Diabetes begins to develop.
It has since been discovered that a second element, vanadium, facilitates the body’s absorption of chromium. Therefore, both minerals are essential for blood glucose uptake by cells. A bottle of chromium is not very expensive and can be purchased individually. Vanadium is usually found in bottles of trace minerals.
1957 Animal Research
According to Dr. Joel D. Wallach, D.V.M., N.D., who did extensive animal studies before earning his N.D. degree; Adult Onset Type II Diabetes is a simple mineral deficiency disease of chromium and vanadium that was eliminated as a disease in laboratory and pet animals fed complete dietary formulas as early as 1957! The animal industry identified this in animals in 1957, yet we are still today, debating whether humans also need supplementation of minerals and if diabetes has a mineral deficiency component.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition has several positive articles regarding supplementation of chromium and its positive effects on all types of diabetes, including Type 1 insulin dependent, Type II non- and insulin dependent, and gestational diabetes. Many of their studies cite chromium intake of one daily dose of 200 mcg, or sometimes up to 200 mcg three times per day for a total daily dose of 600 mcg.
I have found chromium requirements to be dose dependent. Some patient’s bodies require more chromium, so they have to take more to get the same success as these studies or my patients. Some patients can get by just fine with 200 mcg per day, while other patients require up to 1200 mcg per day total daily dosage. Some patients who are consuming certain pharmaceutical drugs, such as corticosteroids or Thiazide diuretics, need additional chromium because these drugs actually cause significant loses of chromium from the body, and therefore can induce diabetes or diabetes-like conditions.
Chromium in unstable as a stand-alone molecule.
It must be coupled with another molecule to be stable and consumable in the body .The most common additional mineral is Picolinate, thus, “Chromium Picolinate.”
Chromium can also be bound to nicotinic acid and is called Chromium Nicotinate. Nicotinic acid is also known as the B vitamin niacin.
I’ve found chromium picolinate to be more useful then chromium nicotinate for treating Type II diabetics.
The “Picolinate” in Chromium Picolinate
The Picolinate molecule must be highly refined to be safe. Low grade or poorly refined picolinate will cause cancer. I have a patient who works for a company that sells instruments which tests molecular structures of molecules. A mere $500,000.00 per unit. One US vitamin manufacturer purchased one. A year later three more US companies purchased unites. Company number one found the Picolinate they were purchasing was the lowest grade and would cause cancer. When they called up the supplier from a country that specializes in low prices, the conversation goes like this:
- “Do you know that the Picolinate you are selling our company causes cancer?”
- “Then why are you selling this to us?”
- “You want good price, Ya?”
Chromium alone is not the perfect “fix” for diabetes.
For optimal health, all minerals and vitamins must be balanced so the body can acquire a state of “homeostasis.” Homeostasis is defined as all bodily chemicals and systems are in perfect balance, like a well-tuned racing car engine.
The human body has a remarkable way of balancing itself when given all the correct nutritional elements, in their proper amounts and in their natural state. Especially when coupled with daily adequate sleep and exercise.
I don’t believe a sickly person can achieve homeostasis using only conventional medicine. Allopathic doctors usually order a small number of lab tests, perhaps about 17 tests. They are looking for a “disease,” then will prescribe drugs to kill the disease.
A good Naturopathic Doctor might order a blood panel which could have 60 values, a hair test with 38 values, and a urine test looking for 20 toxic heavy metals. Chromium values are found in the hair test. Traditional Naturopathic Doctors are looking for “imbalances,” then recommend appropriate nutritional elements so the body can re-balance itself.
Airline pilots cannot have an HgH1C level of 8.5 or higher. They will be grounded until their blood sugar levels are reduced. I have treated these pilots and they are up flying again. Their only treatment was taking the correct amount and source of Chromium and working with me to help their bodies achieve a more perfect state of homeostasis.
My Diabetic Patients
So far, all my diabetic patient’s hair analysis showed low to extremely low levels of chromium in their hair. When I recommend adequate amounts of the correct type of chromium, their HbA1C always seems to drop faster than conventionally expected.
A significant drop in HbA1C usually occurs in three months. It takes that long for the old RBCs to die off and new ones made. Remember, HgA1C tests the amount of glucose in the blood when the RBC was made so you have to wait until new RBCs are replacing the old ones.
I had one patient whose HbA1C was not dropping as fast as I expected. I sent him back to his allopathic doctor who did an MRI scan and found a large tumor in his pancreas.2/3 of his pancreas was surgically removed. Essentially he had both Type I and Type II diabetes at the same time. Currently I am helping him restore the remaining part of his pancreas so it will start producing insulin again. It is a slow progress, but his insulin needs are decreasing.
What really hurts me?
Is being told by a potential patient, they will only do what their medical doctor tells them to do. They are always fighting diabetes, taking drugs and or insulin, and will be for the rest of their lives. Not my way to live a happy life.
Insulin Resistant Diabetes
This is a new category of diabetes. Essentially the body is not responding to multiple daily injections of prescription insulin. When these patients came to me I ran a hair test. Their chromium levels were almost non-existent. After recommending these patients consume 1200 mg of Chromium per day, their “Insulin Resistant Diabetes:” seems to always spontaneously cure itself.
What do I believe caused their bodies to become “insulin resistant?” Insufficient chromium stores for activation of the insulin receptor sites in cell walls. I believe it is just that simple!
My recommended daily dose of Chromium
600 mcg per day for a healthy person.
1200 mcg per day for a patient that is extremely low on chromium, as determined by their hair analysis.
The old USRDA was 120 mcg. The new USRDA is a scant 35 mcg per day, which I feel is extremely low.
In 1948 the average level of chromium in American blood was calculated to be 28 mcg/L (micro-grams per liter of blood). Today the average is a mere 0.13 mcg/L. That is 215 times less chromium or an alarming decline of 99.5% when compared to 1948.
Why? Drastic drops in soil levels of both macro and micro minerals has occurred due to commercial farming which began with the green revolution in the 1940s.From 1950 through 1999 the USDA began monitoring the nutritional declines of vitamins and minerals of 43 fruits and vegetables. On average there has been a steady nutritional decline between 27% and 37%, which fared much better than the declines in chromium. Example: As of 1999, a person would have to consume 8 oranges to receive the same nutritional value of an orange grown in 1950. (5)
I personally witness this on our farm. Every few years I take several soil samples and hire A&L Western Agricultural Laboratories, 10220 SW Nimbus Ave, Bldg K-9, Portland, OR 97223, 503-968-9225, to test our soil for depletion of both macro and micro nutrients and pH changes. Any essential elements that are found lacking I replenish, by purchasing the lacking elements from a local farm store, then spreading with my tractor.
If the pH in soil becomes too low or too high, even if minerals are present in the amounts healthy for plants, release of those minerals from the soil to the plants is hindered. If the soil cannot release nutrients into plants, then how can we expect plants to give us the nutrients we need? The best pH for farming soil is between 6.5 and 7.0. I know from personal experience, I have to lime my soil on a regular basis to raise the pH back to normal and I have to replace many macro and micro nutrients if I want a healthy crop. Constant rain causes soils to become acidic. Depletion of nutrients in farming soils has been a hot topic at several Naturopathic continuing educational seminars.
Maintaining our farm in this manner keeps our horses, milking cow, and sheep healthy.
While the chart below does not list chromium, the principle is the same. The narrowing black lines indicates the soil cannot release that mineral.
Two Types of Chromium
Chromium is a naturally occurring element in rocks, animals, plants, soil, volcanic dust and gases.
There are two forms of Chromium.
- Trivalent chromium (CrIII), which occurs NATURALLY and is an essential nutrient for glucose, protein, and fat metabolism.
- Hexavalent chromium (Cr VI), is extremely toxic to humans. It is a BY PRODUCT of industrial processes.
Chromium (III) is poorly absorbed in humans because most dietary chromium is excreted in the urine, so the supplement really needs to be taken on a regular basis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin can increase chromium absorption.
There are other considerations when treating diabetes. Our culture has switched to the almost exclusive use of processed white flower in white breads, pastas, and many other food products. Why does this matter? Simple carbohydrates such as white flour, sugar, pastries, candy, soda pop, etc., breaks down in the intestines much faster than complex carbohydrates, allowing a rapid increase in blood sugar (glucose) levels which is dangerous to diabetics. Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread (especially when nuts and seeds are included), vegetables etc., breaks down slowly, allowing a more even level of blood sugar which is easier on the body and essential for diabetics. Rapid rises in blood sugar is a well-known problem with diabetics which needs to be avoided. Eating complex carbohydrates is a well-established fact taught by nearly all health professionals who treat diabetic patients.
Remember, when blood sugar cannot pass through cell walls, the inside of the cells become “hypoglycemic.” Symptoms of hypoglycemia are: ADD, ADHD, anxiety attacks, bipolar diseases, and depression including manic depression, hyperinsulinemia (narcolepsy – decreased ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles), panic attacks, rage, muscle weakness, and general overall loss of energy.
Annual sugar consumption per capita in the United States in 1770 was 4 pounds. In 1990 this had risen to 90 pounds. In the year 2000 it had risen to 160 pounds. Current estimates today are up to 170 pounds individual sugar consumption per year in developed countries. This information is readily available on the internet. Many types of foods have added sugar to enhance flavor, especially the ever-so-common soft drinks. However, many other foods you would never think of contain added sugar and / or high fructose corn syrup to enhance both flavor and palatability. A 12 year study, concluded in 2002 at the Harvard School of Public Heath, studied 42,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75 who frequently ate hot dogs, sausage and other sugar containing processed meats, found that daily consumption of these sugar enhanced meats increased the chances of acquiring Adult Onset Type II Diabetes by 46%. Sugar is literally everywhere!
Pica Eating Behaviors
Severe mineral deficiencies, including hypoglycemia, result in a “pica” eating behavior. What this means is constant snacking, a subconscious effort to finally consume enough of the nutrients and minerals the body is craving. “Pica” is the word used when horses are eating the wood inside barns because they are searching for more mineral intake and are eating the wood in an attempt to get those minerals. Farmers and ranchers already know, when their horses start eating up their barns, the best therapy is to provide their animals with mineral blocks. Simple, effective, and natural. So why don’t more humans consume micro and macro mineral supplementations?
Fat Conversion, Energy, Brain Food
Chromium also works with insulin to promote glucose conversion into fat (long-term energy storage), and into the liver as glycogen, (short-term energy storage). Through the process of gluconeogenesis, the liver can store up to 24 hours of energy which can be brought back into the body between meals to help maintain balanced glucose levels so we do not feel drained of energy when a long time has passed between meals.
Chromium also works with insulin to provide glucose for immediate energy to skeletal muscle cells, so you can move your legs and feet, arms and hands, etc.
Glucose is also the only food the brain can live on. Unbalanced levels of glucose in the brain leads to brain dysfunction, which then leads to the unregulated glucose brain diseases of ADD, ADHD, anxiety and panic attacks, bipolar diseases, depression, and rage.
My Recommended Source of Chromium
Remember my patient who sold the instrument to a USA vitamin manufacturer which tested for the molecular analysis of the Picolinate they were purchasing? Then a year later three more USA companies also purchased the same instrument?
He is not allowed to disclose the names of those companies, but I am quite sure I know one of the companies. I recommend the supplements from Metagenics. I have been using Metagenics products since 1992 when I began practicing medicine. I know their Chromium Picolinate is perfectly safe and very effective.
Metagenics products can be found on the internet, however, I do NOT recommend purchasing essential health items over the internet. The purchaser may be buying counterfeit or outdated product. I recommend purchasing directly from the Metagenics manufacturing facility in Gig Harbor, Washington.
Metagenics sells their products through doctor’s offices. Ask your favorite Naturopathic Doctor if he can obtain Metagenics products for you. If not, you are welcome to access Metagenics through my office website. Metagenics has installed a direct link from my website to their plant in Gig Harbor.
Go to my website: “AllNaturalDoctor.com”
- Click on: “Buy Products.”
- Click on the “Metagenics” link.
- On their products tab, product finder, enter “Chromium Picolinate.
- Their price for a 60 count bottle is $14.25. Each tablet contains 200 mcg.
- If my patient’s hair test shows normal chromium levels, then I only recommend 600 mcg per day, or three tablets per day, taken one AM, one NOON, and one PM.
- If my patient’s hair test demonstrates a significant lack of chromium, then I usually double the dose. Two 200 mcg tablets AM, two NOON, and two PM, for a total daily dose of 1200 mcg per day. I am safety conscious and therefore never recommend a total daily dose over 1200 mcg per day.
To date, I’ve found in approximately 95% of all patients I’ve tested, diabetic or not, their chromium is dropping to levels that concern me. For these patients I always recommend taking Chromium so their chances of developing Diabetes in their future will be extremely low.
Why is the United States and other developed countries currently in a diabetes crisis?
- Soil depletion – Commercial farming for increasing profit, has resulted in a 95% decrease of chromium in our foods.
- Cultural changes – Increased consumption of simple carbohydrates such as white breads, pastas and many other foods, versus complex carbohydrates such as natural fruits and vegetables.
- Simple carbohydrates break down into blood glucose (sugar) much faster, compared to complex carbohydrates, which stresses the body.
- Failure of the USRDA to recognize the importance of chromium to prevent type II diabetes, then lowering the recommended daily dose to extremely low levels.
- Failure of the AMA to adhere to HgA1C lab values based on what is needed to maintain a healthy body. Instead they continue to raise their lab values to reflect population averages.
- The AMA will not declare a patient is diabetic until their HbA1C level is 6.42 or higher, which is long after permanent damages have already began.
- The AMA fails to recognize the importance of chromium to prevent type II diabetes.
- Naturopathic Medical School
- Dr. Walter Mertz 1957 PhD thesis published in the National Institutes of Health
- Many hours of diabetic continuing educational seminars for Naturopathic Doctors
- Dr. Joel D. Wallach, D.V.M., N.D., “Prepare, The Preppers Survival Bible.”
- Several issues of The Journal of the American College of Nutrition
- Casper J. LMOs, GMOs and Glyphosate (a toxic antibiotic). Updated November 20, 2018. Nutritional Balancing Web site. https://nutritionalbalancing.org/center/htma/food/articles/gmo.php. Accessed October 15, 2018