Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for March 13, 2007

I came across this article today and it raised some interesting facts.

Chromium is destroyed by sugar, has a relationship with copper and a deficiency can cause anxiety and nerve degeneration. It also has a synergistic relationship with magnesium and zinc. So if I have chronically low levels of magnesium and zinc, it would only make sense to look at Chromium and I’ll stop taking the other minerals that reduce absorption like selenium and potassium.

I originally blogged about this article on February 13, 2007 and now that I’ve discovered the Zinc deficiency, it’s something I should look into further.

Chromium & Copper: These two elements are the most important nutrients next to calcium and magnesium for their anti-inflammatory properties. They share left / right-sided cell receptors and are considered essential to human health.

While neither one – with few exceptions – is generally found to be very deficient level-wise, chromium (Cr) is on average always lower than copper (Cu), with virtually no exceptions. Copper, on the other hand is elevated in the majority of patients, which creates a chronic copper / chromium conflict ratio-wise in these individuals.

In fact, of all the patients I have tested since the mid 70’s, nearly 90% exhibited a chemical profile that in addition to their own unique chemistry contained an underlying pattern that reflected the impact of high copper levels on various opposing nutrients, which include chromium, molybdenum, sulfur, nickel, Vitamin C, hesperidin, and others.

When supplementing chromium, its level will generally not increase at first, but instead it will gradually lower copper, and potassium, since they are high in ratio to chromium. Only after copper and potassium have been reduced to normal levels, chromium may at that point start to go up. However, since sufficient amounts of chromium are rarely used, in practice, copper and potassium just come down closer to normal, and chromium levels stay the same.

Magnesium levels frequently go up following long-term supplementation of chromium because of its synergism with chromium, and also because of potassium (which is a magnesium antagonist) going down, and thus not exerting an inhibiting effect on magnesium any longer.

There are other copper antagonists such as zinc, but while zinc is generally documented as such in the nutritional literature, it is not only the weakest of all copper antagonists, but its action on copper takes place only on an intestinal level, so once copper goes into storage, zinc will have no effect on lowering copper any longer, no matter how much is supplemented. The only time zinc could become a threat to copper is in situations where copper levels are already on the low side, and massive amounts of zinc in addition to other copper antagonists were consumed.

Many patients exhibit high levels of zinc and copper, in which case a common denominator such as ascorbic acid / Vitamin C has to be supplemented in larger amounts to help lower both, while certain foods such as nuts, shellfish or wheat germ… (containing high levels of copper and zinc), should be avoided. One major reason why some people require a much higher intake of Vitamin C compared to others is that they exhibit very high levels of copper, which in these people happens to interfere with nickel and Vitamin C metabolism.

Chronically elevated copper levels in most patients may result from one-sided diets that lack co-factors or copper antagonists, or from the fact that many copper-rich foods are somewhat addictive, such as cocoa / chocolate products, colas, coffee, or tea (copper levels are even higher in tea than in coffee).

Other sources include seafood / shellfish, seeds and nuts, liver, soy products, foods or beverages that are cooked or stored in copper containers (beer), tap water (copper plumbing), and copper IUDs.

Due to the synergism of copper and aluminum (aluminium), a higher intake or absorption of aluminum – ranging from anti-perspirants, tetra packs, all the way to municipal drinking water treated with aluminum sulphate and polyaluminum chloride (used as coagulants) – will result in greater copper retention and lowered sulfur levels since both, aluminum and copper are sulfur antagonists. High copper levels, along with related sulfur deficiencies, can be considered to be one of the most prominent causes of many modern physical and mental health problems.

The correct approach consists of making copper (or calcium) more bioavailable by supplementing the appropriate co-factors, with the best choice being those that exhibit the lowest level in ratio to copper, and as mentioned above – may include Vitamin C, chromium, sulfur (MSM), molybdenum, nickel, or (rarely) zinc. Avoidance of foods high in copper is of utmost importance as well. This will take care of the medical conditions a practitioner was originally consulted for, and at the same time prevent the potential development of new medical problems elsewhere related to excessive copper intake.

Chromium is the “Gold Standard” to help normalize elevated copper, since it is its associated trace element. More aches and pains, arthritis, slow-healing fractures, sciatica and other back problems,various infections, etc, can be relieved with chelated chromium (not GTF), than with many other supplements – provided they conform to the side-specific requirements (see introduction above), and provided that calcium and magnesium are close to normal, since they are also involved with various disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Following a close second is sulfur, usually supplemented in the form of MSM, whose main action in addition to helping restore cartilage formation is the lowering of copper! So again, it is the high copper levels which created a need for sulfur to help reverse joint degeneration.

Copper works synergistically with potassium and calcium, so when patients do exhibit low copper levels, then calcium and potassium are frequently on the low side as well. Taking a 3mg copper pill for one or two months, or less, is all that is needed for an adult to normalize any copper deficiency, and then it should always be discontinued, otherwise copper will go too high – being another reason why most people should avoid multi-mineral formulations containing more than 1 mg of copper.

Chromium Synergists: Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B15

Chromium Antagonists / Inhibitors: Selenium, vanadium, potassium, cobalt, copper, iodine, Vitamin B12, rutin, sugar, alcohol, fat,

Low Levels / Deficiency – Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:

Chromium: Reduced glucose tolerance / impaired glucose metabolism, weakened immune system, increased susceptibility for infections (e.g. bladder, left tonsil), trabecular bone loss, inflammatory joint disease, elevated total cholesterol, birth defects, reduced life expectancy, nerve degeneration.

Chromium Deficiency

Chromium deficiency can produce nervousness, shakiness, and other general symptoms of anxiety. Chromium deficiency is common among alcoholics and people who consume large amounts of refined sugars.

The typical amount of chromium used in research trials is 200 mcg per day. Niacin administered at relatively low levels (100 mg) along with 200 mcg of chromium has been shown to be more effective than chromium alone.

Some people take up to 1mg (1,000 mcg) per day for short periods without problems; this is not suggested as a long-term regimen but rather to help replenish chromium stores when deficiency is present. All of the precursors to the active form of GTF are used in some formulas, but usually with chromium in lower doses, such as 50mcg, since it is thought to be better absorbed with niacin and the amino acids glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid.

Chromium has functions other than the role it plays in GTF. It is a vital ingredient in lecithin, which help
s the body keep fat in small particles. When the fat globules get too large, they get stuck on the walls of arteries and can cause atherosclerosis. Your body requires chromium when producing protein. If it can’t produce the amount it needs, you can suffer from premature aging.

Large amounts of chromium are found in your adrenal glands, indicating its importance in the production of their stress coping hormones. White blood cells contain quite a bit of chromium. When you don’t consume enough of the mineral, your white blood cells cannot function properly. This is one of the reasons you are more susceptible to illness when under stress. Chromium activates vitamin C, and is therefore needed to reap the full benefits from it.


March 13, 2007 - Posted by | Health | , , , , , ,

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