Depression, Overeating and Chromium Picolinate

June 04, 2004

In this study 113 individuals with atypical depression were given either a supplement of chromium picolinate or a placebo for eight weeks. In the individuals who had carbohydrate craving the supplement cut the craving and significantly decreased depression in the cravers, versus cravers on placebo.

The study was presented at the annual New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit Conference of the National Institute of Mental Health, by John Docherty, MD, an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Cornell University, and president of Comprehensive Neuroscience Inc., in White Plains, NY.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Atypical depression is the most common form of depression affecting up to 42% of all depressed individuals who do not require hospitalization. Individuals with atypical depression frequently crave carbohydrates and overeat. Overeating leads to obesity, which leads to insulin insensitivity - a major cause of diabetes. Individuals with depression are about twice as likely to develop diabetes. Studies have shown that larger than average doses of chromium picolinate aid the control of blood sugar in diabetics.

Food Additives and Children

Researchers at Southampton General Hospital, UK, studied the effects of food preservatives (benzoates) and artificial food coloring on the behavior of 277 preschoolers. The parent's subjective assessment of hyperactivity rating fell after the removal of food additives from the diet. There was a significant increase in hyperactivity when food additives were reintroduced into the diet. The increased rating of hyperactivity affected the children even if they did not have food allergies or hyperactivity. The study included 75 children diagnosed with hyperactivity, 79 with allergies, 36 with both hyperactivity and allergies and 87 with neither condition. The study appears in the June 2004 issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Diabetes and Colorectal Cancer

In a study of 10,000 individuals, those with elevated blood sugar had an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer within the next six years. This increased risk included individuals with elevated sugar even if it was below the level of diagnosing diabetes. Individuals with the highest blood sugar readings had a 300% increase in the risk of developing bowel cancer. The study appears in the June 2004 issue of Cancer Epidemiology and Biomarkers.