Low Chromium Levels increase the risk of heart attack in men

July 22, 2005

Chromium is a mineral needed for carnbohydrate and fat metabolism. Chromium intake imroves insulin sensitivity, improves glucose tolerance, and a lack of chromium leads to elevated blood sugar that cannot be controlled with insulin. In other words, chromium is improtant for decreasing the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Although it is known that chromium improves the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol, there is not much information available about the importance of chromium for cardiovascular health. In this incident, case-control study in eight European countries and Israel, 684 men who suffered a first myocardial infarction (heart attack) had their toenail chromium levels assessed (a true history of chromium intake) and compared this to chromium levels in 724 men without a diagnosis of heart attack. It was found that low levels of chromium increased the risk of heart attack. Subjects with the highest levels were 35-percent less likely to develop a heart attack compared with the lowest levels. Chromium levels besides being lower in heart attack patients, were also shown to be lower in individuals with high blood pressure and they also drop as people age. The study was performed by researchers at the School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore and is published in the July 15th issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Folic acid decreases risk of hemorrhagic stroke (sudden bleeding in and around the brain)

In this study 334 patients with ischemic stroke (a blockage stroke) and 62 patients with hemorrhagic stroke (a bleeding stroke) had their folic acid and homocysteine levels established. It was found that folic acid significantly decreased the risk of bleeding stroke even after adjusting for other risks such as high blood pressure. This effect was seperate from folic acids ability to lower homocysteine levels (homocysteine is tied into cardiovascular disease, depression, and osteoporosis). The study is pubblished in the July 2005 issue of Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Quiz Question:

Question: What is the nutrient that improved muscle strength, muscle function, endurance and lean body mass in patients wasting away from COPD? Note- muscle dysfunction and muscle wasting are independent risk factors for mortality in COPD patients)

Answer: Creatine Monohydrate

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