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{Please welcome my good friend Lydia to the site today! Lydia is a Nutritional Therapist and the author of the Divine Health from the Inside Out site. If you’ve followed my site for any amount of time, you know that Lydia is not only a close friend, but she is also my NTP and has been helping me make great progress on my healing journey. She is an INCREDIBLE woman who really knows her stuff when it comes to health, especially the role minerals play in our bodies. Please give her a warm welcome to the site and stop by Divine Health and say hello!.}

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by Lydia Shatney
Divine Health from the Inside Out

Recently, in my post ‘How To Decrease Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Just A Few Weeks‘, I shared that blood sugar can be well managed through your diet. Today, I’m here to share a bit more about the missing mineral you need to prevent insulin resistance in case just diet alone isn’t cutting it for some of you.

The truth is, while diet is a primary way to maintain health, often it is too broad to fix underlying imbalances.

One key reason is that most of us have serious mineral imbalances and if we don’t know exactly what they are we can’t correct them through diet alone.

That said, the missing mineral that is playing into the issue of insulin resistance (and diabetes): chromium.

10871254373_830db0f77e_z( Photo Courtesy: v1ctor )

Chromium: The Missing Mineral You Need to Prevent Insulin Resistance

A deficiency of biologically active chromium can lead to insulin resistance. WHY?

First let’s look at the issues of why chromium is missing…..

  1. Not enough in the diet to begin with (processed foods/soil depletion).
  2. Excessive loss due to constant high sugar diet and or refined/processed foods diet.
  3. Or the body’s inability to convert chromium into it’s biologically active form.

Soil depletion and our diets are key reasons chromium is missing for most everyone these days (namely in the United States).

The modern day S.A.D diet (Standard American Diet), both due to processing/refining and excessive intake of starches and sugars, spells disaster for the blood sugar as well as that it does not contain much if any chromium to begin with in addition to further depleting any chromium the body does actually obtain. Let’s discuss further……..

The Important Role of Chromium for Proper Insulin Function

Chromium is crucial to insulin function. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas. A hormones function is to deliver messages, their life is dedicated to communication.

Insulin has more functions than just to lower blood sugar. It’s message or function is to facilitate the entry of glucose into the cell (into the mitochondria or fat storage). It tells it to go into the cell or to store it. Additionally, the pancreas requires chromium (and zinc) to make insulin in the first place.

Chromium is a trace mineral that works to create enzymatic reactions. The enzymes that are triggered at the binding site need chromium to work. The enzymes with chromium activate insulin’s message ( essentially, chromium stimulates the activity of the enzymes that are involved in glucose metabolism- the biologically active form acts as an insulin co-factor). Gosh I so wish the medical community (aka: Doctors) were teaching this information to type 1 and 2 diabetics alike.

The more insulin used by the body the more chromium is used as well. Every time there is an insulin action there is a greater need for chromium. The more chromium is used the more chromium is excreted by the kidneys. So, the more sugars/starches you eat, and the more stress you have,  the more chromium is needed and expended by your body.

Also, the body will compensate by producing MORE insulin when the insulin is already in secretion or use and can’t get into the cells effectively due to a lack of chromium, (aka: the missing mineral). Essentially, we could say that this deficiency of chromium increases insulin requirements.

In this situation, even diet alone cannot control something like diabetes. This missing mineral may also explain a lot, especially to those who monitor their blood sugar and can’t always explain high blood glucose readings and even low blood glucose readings. Anyone that is insulin dependent will likely become deficient in chromium because the more insulin used/needed (think long term here too) the more chromium is depleted.

This makes sense due to the modern diet -even if you have been eating whole foods for awhile – you likely didn’t growing up eating a nutrient dense whole foods diet. Not to mention most soil is very mineral poor and only getting worse. Your food is only as mineral rich as the soil it was raised in or on.

So, what happens when we are deficient in chromium; insulin doesn’t work properly. The body’s system for using and storing energy won’t work if there isn’t enough chromium.  A huge conundrum indeed!

Hair Tissue Levels of Chromium

Just to share from my own personal observation, I’ve not seen one single client with adequate chromium levels on their hair tissue mineral analysis test results. And, Dr. Wilson (Nutritional Balancing Pioneer reading hair analysis for 30 or so years now), says in his book; Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, that everyone is deficient in chromium and likely needs a supplement. He also says that when chromium shows low on a hair test that it indicates a more severe deficiency in most cases (a good hair tissue range is: 0.12 – 0.16 mg% ). In reviewing over 50 hair analysis tests, I’ve noticed that the majority of people only show about 0.06 mg% or less -that is less than half the optimal level (optimal is .12 mg%).

Refined Foods Don’t Contain Chromium

“It seems, therefore, that we Americans are bent on “refining” ourselves into a chromium deficiency; the ultimate result of which is a significant glucose intolerance in the human body. This rather unhappy distinction of the United States is not shared by other countries that do not refine their foods. In a series of tests on men between the ages of twenty and fifty-nine, the amount of chromium found in the heart artery was 1.9 parts per million (ppm) in American men, 5.5 ppm in African men, 11 ppm in men from the Near East, and 15 ppm in men from the Far East. This evidence is one source of speculation which proves that there is indeed a definite link between the over-consumption of refined foods and a chromium deficiency.” ~ William H. Philpott, MD; Victory Over Diabetes

When we consume or refine sugar or grains we strip the chromium from them. There is also a severe reduction of chromium in our soil today as well.

How To Get More Chromium

We must get chromium through food, as our bodies do not make chromium. It may not always be possible to get enough through diet, just about anyone could benefit from supplemental chromium. Most multi-vitamin supplements contain chromium. Chromium is also a difficult mineral to absorb.

However, here are some key foods that contain chromium….

  • Brewer’s Yeast – This is probably the best option, however not everyone tolerates yeast very well. If you tolerate yeast, this is a great option. 1-3 Tbsp. daily of Brewer’s Yeast (also can be found in capsules-start out with a small amount first to make sure you tolerate it well). One good brand is Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast (add to soups for a nice hit of nutrition – great source of potassium too).
  • Beef
  • Liver
  • Oysters
  • Raw Butter or Ghee
  • Eggs (mainly the yolks)
  • Chicken and Turkey
  • Potatoes, mainly in the skin
  • Broccoli (depending on the soil) – 1/2 cup can contain about 11 mcg of chromium
  • Whole grains with the germ still in tact- For ex: 1/4 cup of oats contains about 5.38 mcg (again, depending on the soil quality)
  • Beer (yes, beer may actually have some nutritional value 😉 Particularly in home brewed -quality matters here)
  • Whole Sugar forms that have not been refined – such as molasses. But in small amounts because sugar increases a need for insulin.

From what I can tell through my research, a daily recommended dose for adult women is about 25 mcg per day and for adult males is 35 mcg per day – children need much less (lactating women need around 44-45 mcg daily).

Keep in mind, good digestion will be key in assimilating the chromium in your foods. It’s possible one may need to consume more than the recommended amount to actually assimilate enough.

This is why supplemental chromium can be very helpful -especially for anyone with blood sugar issues (insulin resistance, diabetes; both Type 1 and Type 2, and hypoglycemia as well).

Thankfully, chromium is absorbed well in many supplemental forms. Please discuss dosage with your health care practitioner. [Caution: Using supplemental chromium may reduce need for insulin – if you are insulin dependent please work with your doctor/health care practitioner to properly monitor your insulin and glucose levels].

Some key health issues that may really benefit from supplemental chromium are: decreased and increased blood sugar levels, diabetes, morning sickness, low HDL with high cholesterol, general pancreas support, general fatigue, psoriasis and to support increase in lean muscle mass. (Source: Clinical Reference Guide for Biotics Research).

Need more insights and support with  blood sugar balance and overall health in general? A Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis provides a metabolic blueprint of your unique biochemistry and offers a game plan just right for you! Get started today- click on the banner below.….

Supporting Your Blood Sugar Balance Through Herbs

When it comes to supporting blood sugar balance in the body (as well as your thyroid and adrenals since they are all part of the endocrine system), caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands and a slow thyroid tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your blood sugar balance in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.

When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.

But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.

And it sucked.

I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.

Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs. Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. In my mind, if I can get something to not only taste amazing but do amazing things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!

I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.

After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home. 

That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief. Now in its second edition, this ebook features all of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.

In addition, you get a ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.

Lastly, you get access to your own personal coffee shop. I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here.

This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2015 // deliciousobsessions.com

Sources:

  1. Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide To Diet and Nutritional Medicine by Elson M. Haas, MD
  2. Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients: Clinical Application of Tissue Mineral Analysis, Dr. David L. Watts
  3. Enzymes & Enzyme Therapy: How To Jump-Start Your Way to Lifelong Health, Dr. Anthony J. Cichoke
  4. Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis: A New Science of Energy, Lawrence Wilson, M.D.
  5. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, Sally Fallon with Mary Enig, Ph.D.

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