Diabetes affects the whole body. Its effects are felt in the brain, the heart, in the eyes, they are felt in a staggering amount of ways. The elevated levels of blood glucose are very hard on a system that is designed to work within certain parameters. The kidneys are the organs that are hit the hardest by diabetes. In fact, kidney conditions are good early marker of diabetes. Bad blood glucose management will almost immediately lead to diabetic nephropathy and severe kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death in diabetics. An important part of diabetes management and treatment is making sure constantly that a patient’s kidneys are in a good state and treating any potential early warning signs of diabetic kidney conditions.
Studies have found that chromium picolinate, a precursor of picolinic acid, has anti-inflammatory effects on the body, particularly in the kidneys. This effect can go a long way to relieving the symptoms associated with diabetic kidney disease as well as reversing some of its effects. In these studies, diabetic lab mice that were given chromium picolinate showed reduced markers of kidney disease than mice that were not taking this substance.
In fact, the mice that took chromium picolinate showed about less than half the levels of albumin in their urine than diabetic mice that were not taking picolinate. Albumin in the urine, also known as albuminuria, is a common way of diagnosing kidney disease. With chromium picolinate reducing the levels of this substance by half, this study shows promising results and showcases chromium picolinate as a potential treatment for diabetic kidney disease in humans. After the study was over, the mice were dissected and their tissue was analyzed. The mice that were given chromium picolinate showed enzymes that are associated with regulating inflammation. Diabetic mice that were not given chromium picolinate simply showed elevated levels of substances, interleukins, which are associated with inflammation. Even though these studies are still in their initial stages, it is interesting to find this disease. Now there is the question of whether chromium picolinate is bringing about these beneficial results or if that is due to the byproduct of a metabolic reaction the produces picolinic acid.
The effects of chromium picolinate give hope to a potential treatment for diabetic kidney disease. By finding a way to reduce the devastating effects this disease has on the kidneys, researchers and medicine in general would go a long way towards reducing significantly the rate of death of this disease as well as some of its most severe effects. However, it is important to note that these are still preliminary studies and that they are in no way a reason to go out and start taking chromium picolinate supplements. At best this could be simply ineffective and at worse it could have unintended consequences on the human organism. It is better to be safe and to speak with one’s doctor; however there is the possibility that in a few years a new treatment for diabetic kidney disease may enter the market.