Why some diabetics gain weight - and what you can do to drop the pounds

December 04, 2007
Volume 04    |   Issue 49

One of the worst things a diabetic can do is gain weight. Unfortunately, that?s exactly what many of them do - even if they eat right, get plenty of exercise, and take their medications.

What they don?t realize is that those medications may be the reason they?re gaining weight. Weight gain is a common side effect from oral anti-diabetic drugs. These include Glucotrol or glipizide. Glipizide triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin and use it efficiently. This lowers your blood sugar levels.

The good news is you can avoid this weight gain or melt away those extra pounds by taking enough of a safe supplement. And you can find it in any health food store. The nutrient is chromium.

You may be familiar with using chromium to help regulate blood sugar. In fact, you?re probably taking a few hundred micrograms of it already. But this isn?t nearly enough to cancel out this weight gain. You may need to take much more.

In a study published in Diabetes Care, researchers followed a few dozen patients with type-2 diabetes. All of them were taking glipizide. They gave half of them 1,000 mcg of chromium picolinate a day for six months. Most multivitamins have only 200 mcg. They gave the control group a placebo along with glipizide.

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At the end of the study, the patients who took glipizide with the placebo gained about five pounds. They also had substantially more abdominal and body fat. Those who took the chromium gained either nothing or up to two pounds, had a significant loss of body fat, and had lower blood sugar levels.

In another study, researchers followed more than 400 overweight-to-obese diabetics who were taking oral anti-diabetic drugs. They gave them 600 mcg per day of chromium picolinate with 2 mg of biotin. They found that the combination improved blood sugar regulation in just three months. They also lost weight.

Like many prescription and over-the-counter drugs, glipizide and other oral diabetic drugs have other undesired side effects. They increase hyperinsulinemia - too much insulin in your blood. This is the number one reason why people who are pre-diabetic progress to full-blown type-2 diabetes. But that?s not all. These drugs also increase your chances of dying from heart disease.

Chromium, on the other hand, is safe. I?ve personally used 500 mcg of chromium twice a day with my patients who have problems regulating their blood sugar. It reduces their sugar cravings, keeps their weight down, and helps normalize blood sugar levels - whether or not they?re taking diabetes drugs.

By the way, a good multivitamin/mineral, such as Vitality Plus, contains 200 mcg of a well-absorbed chromium, chromium polynicotinate. There?s an additional 500 mcg of chromium in Metabolic Defense Formula, a new supplement that regulates blood sugar both in diabetics and pre-diabetics. This provides a total of 700 mcg each day. If you?re having problems keeping your blood sugar under control, and having difficulty losing that extra weight, you may want to try these formulas. You can get both of them by calling 800-728-2288.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


Albarracin, CA, et al, "Chromium picolinate and biotin combination improves glucose metabolism in treated, uncontrolled overweight to obese patients with type 2 diabetes", Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, May 16, 2007.

Martin J, Wang ZQ, Zhang XH, et al. Chromium picolinate supplementation attenuates body weight gain and increases insulin sensitivity in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2006.

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