oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Diabetogenic effect of thiazides and the relation to chromium. A preliminary report

Volume 31, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



In carbohydrate metabolism the action of insulin is reinforced by the presence of a chromium containing amino acid complex known as the glucose tolerance factor (GTF). Dietary patterns which include refined cereals and crystalline sugar lead to a depletion of chromium stores in the body. Two major mechanisms contribute to lowered levels. The first is that chromium is discarded with the fibre and other material in food refinement, leading to decreased ingestion. The other is the excessive mobilisation and excretion of chromium occasioned by rises in blood sugar. It has been demonstrated that chromium has a beneficial effect on glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and blood lipids in elderly American people, and on fasting sugar, high density lipoprotein and the treatment needs of Zimbabwean diabetics. Intravenous chromium chloride has been used in malnourished children with good effect on disturbed glucose tolerance, and has been found to be an essential addition to the mix for patients on prolonged parenteral nutrition. With these observations as background a number of biochemical estimations were done on 10 elderly diabetics immediately before and one month after the intravenous administration of chromium chloride in 5ml water, in the course of a pilot study to note the effects of chromium.

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