The novel combination of chromium picolinate and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) increased muscle glycogen levels, a measure of the body's ability to process stored glucose, contributing to physical strength and endurance, said a researcher from Nutrition 21 at the American Diabetes Association meeting last weekend.
Chromium picolinate and CLA have independently shown to improve glucose uptake in insulin-stimulated cells. Researchers found that a combination of the nutrients significantly enhanced insulin-stimulated glycogen production in human muscle cells, more than when each was used alone.
"These results build upon previous studies showing that the combination of chromium picolinate and CLA has significant benefits in enhancing carbohydrate metabolism," said James Komorowski, vice president of technical services and scientific affairs, of Nutrition 21. "Enhancement in muscle glycogen levels is important for endurance, body building, and muscle recovery."
The findings were presented Saturday, June 14 at the American Diabetes Association meeting in New Orleans by Dr Vijaya Juturu from Nutrition 21, who collaborated with the University of Vermont Medical College on the study. The research was supported by an unrestricted grant from Nutrition 21, and used its combination of Chromax chromium picolinate and CLA, known as Zenergen, in the study.
"This research is part of Nutrition 21's continued commitment to further validate the potential of chromium picolinate - individually and in novel ingredient combinations - as a nutritional supplement to enhance insulin function," said Gail Montgomery, president and CEO.
Other research funded by Nutrition 21 was presented by Dr Zhong Wang from the University of Vermont Medical College. The findings help explain chromium's beneficial actions on intracellular metabolic functions that enhance blood sugar control, said Wang.
Research indicates that chromium, in the form of chromium picolinate, enhances insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism and improves glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. However, the cellular mechanism involved is not yet fully understood. Dr Wang and colleagues studied the effects of chromium picolinate on gene expression in human skeletal muscle cells.
"The analysis suggests that genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism (TNF-alpha and ubiquitin proteins) may be down-regulated in the presence of chromium picolinate," according to the researchers.The discovery helps explain the clinical benefits seen in people with type 2 diabetes, said Komorowski.
TNF-alpha has been linked with obesity-associated insulin resistance and the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, while ubiquitin breaks down proteins and may turn off carbohydrate metabolism. Down-regulation of these genes helps shed light on how chromium enhances carbohydrate metabolism and glucose control, reports Nutrition 21.
Gail Montgomery added that the findings help "realize the potential of chromium picolinate as an effective and safe nutritional supplement for enhanced insulin function."