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Friday, December 29, 2006

Trace Elements and Insulin Resistance in Diabetes


Fear of insulin resistance drives many people with pre-diabetes to resort to crash diets. The obese also often start dieting by themselves in bids to keep diabetes away. However, diets which are not planned by specialists may lack balance. Trace elements such as chromium are the first casualties of diets which are not drawn up in systematic manner.

Trace elements such as chromium have not been studied completely. We do not have firm RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowances) for such substances and their roles in metabolism are known as yet only in part. However, this does not mean that they are any less than essential. Chromium for example, is known to help with insulin resistance.

A balanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, with meat and dairy products in moderation, should provide all the trace elements we need. Certain foods such as broccoli are known to be rich in chromium, though there could be unknown losses in food processing and in digestion as well. Some nutrition experts prefer to use supplements to guard against any shortage of trace elements in normal diet.

It is true that weight loss is the best way to deal with the insulin resistance factor in diabetes. However, recommended exercise, and a planned diet, which ensures nutritional balance, are the right ways to deal with insulin resistance, rather than any ad-hoc approach which could aggravate diabetes by denying the body vital trace elements such as chromium.


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