Research capsule

Study claim: Diachrome chromium picolinate and biotin improves blood-sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Published: Singer GM, Geohas J. The effect of chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation on glycemic control in poorly controlled patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized trial. Diabetes Technol Ther 2006 Dec;8(6):636-43.

Abstract: Preclinical studies have shown that the combination of chromium picolinate and biotin significantly enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells and enhances glucose disposal. The present pilot study was conducted to determine if supplementation with chromium picolinate and biotin can improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with suboptimal glycaemic control despite use of oral antihyperglycaemic agents.

Forty-three subjects with impaired glycaemic control (two-hour glucose >200mg/dL; glycated hemoglobin >=7%), despite treatments with oral antihyperglycaemic agents, were randomised to receive 600mcg chromium picolinate and biotin (2mg/day), in addition to their prestudy oral antihyperglycaemic agent therapy. Measurements of glycaemic control and blood lipids were taken at baseline and after four weeks.

After four weeks, there was a significantly greater reduction in the total area under the curve for glucose during the two-hour oral glucose-tolerance test for the treatment group (mean change -9.7%) compared with the placebo group (mean change +5.1%). Significantly greater reductions were also seen in fructosamine, triglycerides and the triglycerides/HDL cholesterol ratio in the treatment group. No significant adverse events were attributed to chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation.

This pilot study demonstrates that supplementation with a combination of chromium picolinate and biotin in poorly controlled patients with diabetes receiving antidiabetic therapy improved glucose management and several lipid measurements.

Potential applications: Chromium picolinate/biotin supplementation may represent an effective adjunctive nutritional therapy to people with poorly controlled diabetes with the potential for improving lipid metabolism.

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1 914 701 4500

Study Claim: Pycnogenol reduces side effects of antihypertensive drugs.

Published: Belcaro G, et al. Control of edema in hypertensive subjects treated with calcium antagonist (nifedipine) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors with Pycnogenol. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost 2006 Oct;12(4):440-4.

Abstract: The presence of oedema in different phases and stages of essential hypertension may be due to antihypertensive treatment. Some drugs may cause oedema by inducing vasodilatation, increasing the capillary exchange surface and capillary filtration, which causes blood to pool in the vessels of the lower legs, causing swelling (oedema). Pycnogenol has an important anti-oedema effect in diabetic microangiopathy and chronic venous insufficiency, which allows easier blood flow and thus lowers blood pressure.

Antihypertensive medications reduce pressure by inhibiting constriction of blood vessels. The larger the blood-vessel diameter, the easier blood will flow with less pressure. In order to avoid blood pooling in the lower legs and feet (oedema), blood-vessel diameters must adjust when a person changes positions from laying down to standing up.

The study sampled 53 hypertensive patients suffering from oedema of their ankles and feet as a result of antihypertensive medications. All were taking medications at the same dosage for at least four months. Twenty-three patients were being treated with ACE inhibitors and 30 patients were being treated with nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker. The study sampled 27 patients with 150mg/day Pycnogenol vs an equivalent dosage of placebo for the remaining 26 patients. After an eight-week Pycnogenol treatment, patients treated with ACE inhibitors experienced a 35 per cent decrease of ankle swelling while patients being treated with nifedipine experienced a 36 per cent decrease of ankle swelling. Pycnogenol helped defy a major side-effect of antihypertensive medication.

Potential applications: Pycnogenol controls this type of oedema and allows the dose of antihypertensive drugs to be reduced in most patients. Furthermore, Pycnogenol has a blood pressure-lowering effect itself and thus helps to achieve a healthy cardiovascular system. Natural Health Science (NHS), based in New Jersey, is the North American distributor for Pycnogenol brand French maritime pine bark extract, available for supplements, on behalf of Horphag Research, Germany.

More info:
1 877 369 9934

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