Depression And Chromium

Treating depression with chromiumClassic symptoms of depression

The classic picture of depression is someone who does not eat enough, does not sleep enough, and loses weight. Very often the reverse is true where many patients are actually gaining weight, feel tired all the time, crave carbohydrates, particularly simple carbohydrates, and could sleep forever. The latter sets of symptoms reflect a situation nutrition consultants see very regularly, i.e. it is a pre-diabetic situation.

Very often these same patients have had a blood test that medically rules out diabetes as the cause. But Type II diabetes, originally known as adult onset diabetes, does not suddenly happen. It is the overuse of sugar and other products like coffee alcohol and cigarettes that eventually undermines the body’s ability to sustain a sound level of body glucose.

Depression and Diabetes

Epidemiological studies have shown that a diabetic diagnosis is likely to be two and a half times greater in depressed people than the general population. A survey of several hundred depressed patients conducted by Dr Andrew Nierenberg, Associate Director of the Depression and Clinical Research Programme at Massachusetts General Hospital, found that somewhere between 25 – 42% of such patients could benefit from stabilizing body glucose using Chromium Picolinate at 200mcg dosage and above as the main therapeutic agent.

A subsequent trial by a Professor of Psychiatry, John Doherty at Weill Medical College, Cornell University confirmed these findings. 113 depressed patients were given chromium or a placebo for 8 weeks and were rated against the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression to assess the outcome. At the end of the 8 weeks 65% of those on chromium experience major improvements in their depression, compared to 33% of those of placebo.

Professor Malcolm McCloud, a Psychoanalyst from the University of North Carolina has been a leading light in associating chromium deficiency to depression. He was recently asked how his experience compared with the use of SSRI antidepressant drugs. He claimed chromium to be far superior because there are no side effects but he did concede some patients could need both. He also observed that chromium is much faster acting than SSRI. This could have major relevance now that doctors are advised not to use SSRI with children.

Chromium Supplement for Depression

If you are wondering if this has relevance to yourself then look at the following: –

Do you crave sweets or other carbohydrates or tend to gain weight?
Are you tired for no obvious reason, or do your arms and legs feel heavy?
Do you tend to feel sleepy or groggy much of the time?
Are your feelings easily hurt by rejections from others?
Did your depression begin before the age of 30?

If you answer yes to even one of these questions and you very often feel low then the chances are supplementing chromium is likely to help. But always bear in mind, people are rarely one mineral or one vitamin deficient and it is the synergistic use of supplements that bring the best results, particularly in the longer term.

Article Submitted By
Brian Hampton, Nutritionist, The Caring Clinic, Sheffield

Date Published

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