Eating sweets and starch causes the body to produce insulin. If the consumption of refined food is excessive and habitual, the body becomes less responsive to the insulin—a condition known as “insulin resistance”. The body produces more and more insulin, but responds to it less. Excess insulin production causes a variety of problems, like weight gain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.

Research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition (2008 Nov;43(3):191-8) looked at the effect supplementation had on insulin insensitivity. The 30 subjects of the double-blind study were randomly given either a placebo, chromium, or a combination of chromium with vitamins C and E. After six months the subjects who were taking chromium and the subjects taking chromium with vitamins C and E experienced improved antioxidant status. The groups taking the supplements also had reduced insulin resistance, lower fasting glucose levels and lower hemoglobin A1c levels (a test to measure high blood sugar over a long time). The author of the study concluded, “These findings suggest that chromium together with vitamins C and E was effective for minimization of oxidative stress and improvement of glucose metabolism in type 2 [diabetes] patients.”