Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Supplements / 06.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Simin Liu MD MPH ScD Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and Professor of Surgery at the Alpert School of Medicine Brown University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our research team has been researching the roles of environmental and genetic determinants of chronic diseases for nearly three decades, with special emphasis on evaluating micronutrients, minerals, and trace elements in relation to cardiometabolic outcomes, and findings of which have contributed to the design of several large, randomized trials of dietary supplements in the US (Liu JAMA 1999; 2011; Diabetes Care 2005a,b; Diabetes 2006).  Several large intervention trials have consistently shown beneficial effects on clinical cardiometabolic outcomes of a diet pattern rich in micronutrients, although research on micronutrient supplementation has mainly focused on the health effects of a single or a few vitamins and minerals. We decided to take a comprehensive and systematic approach to evaluate all the publicly available/accessible studies reporting all micronutrients including phytochemicals and antioxidant supplements and their effects on cardiovascular risk factors as well as multiple CVDs. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Frailty, Geriatrics, JAMA, Medical Research Centers, Supplements / 15.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH Geriatrics & Preventive Cardiology Associate Epidemiologist Division of Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the population is living longer, there is increased risk of frailty and vulnerability. Frailty is defined as reduced physiological reserve and decreased ability to cope with even an acute stress. Up to half of adults over the age of 85 are living with frailty and preventative measures are greatly needed. We tested the effect of vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the risk of developing frailty in healthy older adults in the US enrolled in the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Supplements, USPSTF / 30.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Barry, M.D Director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program Health Decision Sciences Center Massachusetts General Hospital. Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School Dr. Barry was appointed as Vice Chair of USPSTF in March 2021. He previously served as a member from January 2017 through December 2020.   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: The Task Force looked at the use of vitamin and mineral supplementation specifically for the prevention of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. We found that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against taking multivitamin supplements, nor the use of single or paired nutrient supplements, to prevent these conditions. However, we do know that you should not take vitamin E or beta-carotene for this purpose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Chocolate, Heart Disease, Supplements / 16.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Howard D. Sesso, ScD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Preventive Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? How does the amount of flavanols in the study arm compare to what might be obtained in a typical diet? Response: The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that tested the effects of two promising dietary supplements on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer in 21,442 older adults. Cocoa flavanols have been shown to have favorable vascular effects in small and short-term clinical trials. The 500 mg/day flavanols tested in COSMOS exceeds that readily obtained in the diet typically from cocoa, tea, grapes, and berries. Of note, flavanol content in not typically listed on food labels. COSMOS also tested a multivitamin, the most common dietary supplement taken by US adults and previously linked with a potential modest reduction in cancer in a previous long-term trial of men conducted by our research group at the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nutrition, Supplements / 06.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rana Conway PhD RNutr  Research Fellow Energy Balance & Cancer Group, and Obesity Research Group Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health University College London    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We’ve seen great advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment in recent years which means the number of people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis is rapidly increasing. The WCRF and CRUK recommend improving diet and exercise to reduce the risks of cancer coming back but we know anecdotally that supplements are sometimes seen as an easier option, and people who’ve had cancer are often interested to know if they should be taking any supplements.    (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Supplements, UCSD / 14.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS Professor of Urology Moores UC San Diego Comprehensive Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Clinical guidelines for prostate cancer, circulated widely in the public domain, endorse the consumption of diets high in micronutrient-enriched vegetables. Drawing on expert opinion, epidemiological studies, and small preclinical experiments, these recommendations propose that vegetable-enriched diets may decrease cancer progression and death among prostate cancer survivors. However, data from randomized clinical trials focused on actionable clinical endpoints has been lacking. We utilized a specific behavioral intervention, grounded in the field of social psychology, to “nudge” patients with prostate cancer toward healthier food choices. The intervention is telephone-based, like a call center: patient-focused, convenient, and simple. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, NIH, Supplements / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Enrique Schisterman, Ph.D. Chief, Epidemiology Branch, DIPHR Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NICHD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Small studies indicated that zinc and folic acid supplements for men might improve semen quality as both zinc and folic acid are involved in DNA transcription and have antioxidant functions. But no large-scale randomized trials have been done to assess efficacy, which is important since dietary supplements are largely unregulated, and FDA cannot regulate supplements until after they come to market. Some male fertility-targeted supplements are already among the most commonly sold supplement products, despite the lack of data to guide their use.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Supplements / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan P. Little PhD Associate Professor Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Faculty of Health and Social Development School of Health and Exercise Sciences The University of British Columbia Syilx Okanagan Nation Territory Kelowna, BC  Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ketones are energy-yielding molecules that are bodies naturally produce during periods of starvation or when we restrict carbohydrate intake. Recently, scientists from Oxford and the NIH have created exogenous ketone supplements, which now enable us to be able to drink ketones. This puts our body into a unique state – we can consume a drink that raises blood levels of ketones without having to starve or restrict carbohydrate intake. Some are even touting ketone supplements as a “fourth macronutrient”. Ketone supplements are primarily marketed for athletes to provide an alternative fuel for improving endurance exercise performance. We were actually studying how ketone supplements impacted exercise performance when we noticed that they consistently lowered blood glucose after participants consumed them. We went to the literature and found some classic papers where it was shown that infusing ketones did in fact lower glucose and the mechanism seemed to involve reducing liver glucose output. This was very exciting to us because we also study type 2 diabetes, a condition where blood sugars are too high and elevated liver glucose output is one of the major reasons. So we came up with the hypothesis that ketone supplements might be a unique strategy to help with blood glucose control. In the recent study, we tested this out in a randomized crossover experiment in 15 participants with overweight/obesity who were at risk for type 2 diabetes. Participants drank the ketone monoester supplement or a placebo and 30 minutes later they consumed an oral glucose tolerance test drink containing 75 grams of sugar. Blood samples were collected for 2 hours after the glucose test drink. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Supplements / 16.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pieter A. Cohen, MD Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville, Massachusetts Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been increasing interest in the use of over-the-counter supplements to help improve memory and cognitive function.  However, prior studies have suggested that these types of supplements might contain unapproved investigational drugs. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Supplements, Vitamin C, Vitamin D / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Safi UKhan, MD Department of Internal Medicine Robert Packer Hospital Sayre, PA 18840  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is substantial body of observational data favoring use of vitamins, supplements and special diets for improving cardiovascular health. However, such type of data is limited by various biases. Randomized controlled trial (RCT) is considered gold standard to evaluate effects of a therapy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Supplements / 31.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA MD, PhD, FAHA HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center Department of Epidemiology Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine New Orleans, LA 70112 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is evidence from previous experimental studies or cross-sectional analyses in humans linking glucosamine and a variety potentially protective effects such as improving lipids, inhibiting inflammation, and mimic a low-carb diet.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Hip Fractures, JAMA, Supplements / 13.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhD Department of Public Health and Global Health Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of high dose vitamin supplementation is popular in parts of the population, often without any clear indication and in the absence of clear evidence of benefit. However, side effects can occur, and in a previous published secondary analysis of double blinded randomized controlled trials, we found to our surprise an increased risk of hip fracture in those supplemented with high doses of vitamin B6 in combination with vitamin B12. This finding was re-assessed in the current study employing data from the large observational Nurses' Health Study. As in the previous study, we found that a combined high intake of vitamin B6 and B12 was associated with increased risk of hip fracture. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Nutrition, Supplements, Weight Research / 08.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Marjolein Visser PhD Professor of Healthy Aging Head section Nutrition and Health Department of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Amsterdam Public Health research institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: More than 40 million Europeans experience a major depressive disorder. One in ten men, and one in five women suffer from clinical depression at least once during their lifetime. Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU. Given the increasing prevalence of depression, more people are actively searching for ways to decrease their risk through lifestyle modification, but are often overwhelmed by confusing and contradictory information. The MooDFOOD prevention trial is the largest randomized clinical trial to study the effects of nutritional strategies on the prevention of major depressive disorder. Over 1000 overweight or obese participants identified as being at elevated risk for depression but who were not currently depressed, from four European countries -the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, took part in the study. Participants were randomized to either take nutritional supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, selenium or to a pill placebo, and half of participants also received a behavioral lifestyle intervention intended to change dietary behaviors and patterns. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer, Cancer Research, Supplements / 30.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Scott Litofsky, MD Division of Neurological Surgery University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine Columbia, MO 65212  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many patients take over-the-counter medications to held their cancers. Some of these remedies may be helpful; others are potentially harmful. Anti-oxidant medications are frequently selected by patients as they are inexpensive and available. We were approached by a high school student, Macy Williams (one of the authors) to do some research in our laboratory when she won a research scholarship (the 2016 Emperor Science Award) from Stand Up to Cancer. She worked with us several times per week doing experiments during her senior year of high school. When she graduated, we continued the work that she started. We studied effects of Vitamin D3, Melatonin, and alpha-Lipoic Acid on glioblastoma cells, a highly malignant brain tumor. We included experiments of these agents alone and in combination with Temozolomide, a chemotherapy agent used as standard of care in glioblastoma. The work was done in cultured cells, measuring growth and survival of cells. We used concentrations that could be achieved by oral intake of the drugs. We found that antioxidant medications, particularly alpha Lipoic Acid, had synergistic effects with Temozolomide – that is Temozolomide impair glioblastoma cell growth and survival better when combined with an antioxidant. The mechanism of action may be through reactive oxygen species.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Supplements / 09.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pieter Cohen, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dietary supplements lead to an estimated 23,000 emergency department visits each year in the United States (US), and weight loss and sports supplements contribute to a disproportionately large number of these emergency department visits. It is not known which ingredients in weight loss and sports supplements pose the greatest risk to consumers, but there are stimulants found in botanical remedies that might pose risks. In the current study, we investigated the presence and quantity of higenamine a stimulant found in botanicals and available in sports and weight loss supplements sold in the US. (more…)
Antioxidants, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pulmonary Disease, Supplements / 18.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott D Sagel MD PhD Professor of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inflammation is an important feature of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease and contributes to lung damage and lung function decline in CF. We need safe and effective anti-inflammatory treatments in CF. Anti-oxidant therapy has been an area of promise, but with mixed results in CF. This clinical trial, conducted at 15 CF centers affiliated with the cystic fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Development Network, enrolled 73 patients who were 10 years and older (average age 22 years), with pancreatic insufficiency, which causes malabsorption of antioxidants. Subjects were randomized to either a multivitamin containing multiple antioxidants including carotenoids such as beta(β)-carotene, tocopherols (vitamin E), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and selenium or to a control multivitamin without antioxidant enrichment. The antioxidants used in the study were delivered in a capsule specifically designed for individuals with difficulties absorbing fats and proteins, including those with cystic fibrosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Supplements / 31.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Pills Vitamins Macro April 22, 2012 4” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism Department of Nutritional Sciences University of Toronto  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was requested by the editor of JACC (Dr. Valentin Fuster) due to the widespread use of vitamin and mineral supplementation by the public and the requirement to know if there were any benefits or harms for cardiovascular disease. Our study was a follow-up to the US Preventive Services Task Force 2013 recommendations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Supplements / 13.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Scheers PhD Asst. Professor Chalmers University of Technology Dept of Biology and Biological Engineering Food and Nutrition Science Göteborg, Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many different forms of iron supplements are used to treat iron deficiency symptoms or as phosphate binders in patients with renal disease. two of these iron supplements, the chelates ferric citrate and ferric EDTA have been observed to drive colon cancer in mice. In the newly published study in Oncotarget, we are reporting our work on how these iron compounds differ compared to the simple salt ferrous sulphate, which is another common iron supplement. The main finding of this study was that ferric citrate and ferric EDTA promoted the cancer biomarker amphiregulin which in turn activated the MAP kinase ERK in gut epithelial cancer cells. There were no such effects in ferrous sulphate-treated cells.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Supplements / 06.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Pills Vitamins Macro April 22, 2012 4” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Mayur Ranchordas, SFHEA Senior Lecturer in Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism Sport Nutrition Consultant Chair of the Sport and Exercise Research Ethics Group Sheffield Hallam University Academy of Sport and Physical Activity Faculty of Health and Wellbeing Sheffield MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: People engaging in intense exercise often take antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin C and/or E or antioxidant-enriched foods, before and after exercise in the anticipation that these will help reduce muscle soreness. In a new review published in the Cochrane Library we looked at the evidence from 50 studies. These all compared high-dose antioxidant supplementation with a placebo and their participants all engaged in strenuous exercise that was sufficient to cause muscle soreness. Of the 1089 participants included in the review, nearly nine out of ten of these were male and most participants were recreationally active or moderately trained. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Kidney Disease, Microbiome, Supplements / 19.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ron Walborn Jr. Prebiotin CEO  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The product Prebiotin™ Prebiotic Fiber was brought to market in 2007 by Dr. Frank Jackson, a gastroenterologist out of Harrisburg, PA. He found through 40 years of experience with his patients that a variety of digestive issues benefitted from daily supplementation with a soluble prebiotic fiber, specifically, oligofructose-enriched inulin (OEI) derived from chicory root. In the late summer of 2012, Prebiotin caught the attention of Dr. Dominic Raj at the Internal Medicine Department of George Washington University. Dr. Raj’s laboratory showed that patients with kidney disease may have a higher level of release of endotoxins like p-Cresol sulfate and indole from the bacteria in the gut, which can move into the bloodstream and promote inflammation. This early work was the basis of a successful grant application. Researchers were interested in investigating the therapeutic potential of altering the composition and/or function of the gut microbiome in this patient population, based on the understanding that by building up the levels of healthy bacteria in the gut, undesirable bacteria is eventually crowded out, thereby reducing the release of harmful endotoxins into the system. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Supplements / 21.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard J. Kryscio, Ph.D. Statistics and Chair, Biostatistics and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Sanders-Brown Center on Aging University of Kentucky  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: At the time the trial was initiated (2002), there was ample evidence that oxidative stress is an important mechanism in brain aging. Research showed that protein oxidation is linked to the brain’s response to the abnormal proteins seen in Alzheimer disease (amyloid beta plaques in particular) leading to inflammation, DNA repair problems, reduced energy production, and other cellular changes that are identified mechanisms in the Alzheimer brain. Both vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants. Antioxidants, either through food or supplements, are believed to reduce oxidative stress throughout the body. In the brain, they may reduce the formation of amyloid beta plaques, reduce brain inflammation, and improve other brain processes. Studies in humans support these hypotheses. The Rotterdam study in the Netherlands, as an example, showed that initial blood levels of vitamin E could predict dementia risk. Those people with higher vitamin E levels were 25% less likely to develop dementia. Also, selenium deficiency results in cognitive difficulties and several population-based studies have shown an association between selenium level and cognitive decline (lower selenium levels are linked to thinking changes in the elderly). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Supplements / 11.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NY, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies show that use of supplements increased between the 1980s and mid-2000s, and despite much research conducted on the health effects of supplements, we know little about recent trends in use. Given this gap, we decided to create an up-to-date, comprehensive resource on the prevalence and trends of supplement use among US adults using nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data were collected over seven continuous cycles (from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012). (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Antioxidants, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Supplements / 04.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Lemon, PhD Research Associate Medical Radiation Sciences McMaster University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Lemon: Research with the supplement began in 2000, as part of my doctoral degree; we developed the supplement to try to offset the severe cognitive deterioration and accelerated aging in a mouse model we were working with in the lab. Based on aging research, five mechanisms appeared to be key contributors to the process of aging; those include oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial deterioration, membrane dysfunction and impaired glucose metabolism. The criteria we used for including components in the supplement were as follows: each one of the 30 components had scientific evidence to show they acted on one or more of the above mechanisms were able to be taken orally, and were available to humans over-the-counter. Even then the hope was that if the formulation was successful, this would make it more available to the general public. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Supplements / 23.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judy Jou, MA PhD Candidate PhD Candidate in Health Services Research, Policy, & Administration Division of Health Policy and Management University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is rising among U.S. adults, but CAM is often poorly integrated into patients’ treatment and self-care routines. We analyzed nearly 7,500 responses from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and found that over two-fifths of U.S. adults who used CAM during the past year did not disclose their complementary and alternative medicine use to their primary health care providers, with rates of disclosure varying by the type of CAM used. We also examined reasons for non-disclosure and found that, in contrast to prior studies, lack of provider-initiated conversation about  complementary and alternative medicine was the most commonly cited reason, rather than patients’ concerns about negative reactions from their providers regarding their complementary and alternative medicine use. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mineral Metabolism, Supplements / 12.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Peter Lay PhD Professor of Inorganic Chemistry School of Chemistry | Faculty of Science Director, Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility Research Portfolio The University of Sydney Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My group has been studying the molecular mechanisms of chromium(VI)-induced cancers and the biochemistry of vanadium over the last three decades. Vanadium drugs have been in clinical trials for their anti-diabetic effects that occur via species with very similar chemistry to chromium(VI).  The more we understood the biochemistry of each, the more we questioned whether the efficacies of anti-diabetic chromium(III) supplements were associated with the generation of carcinogenic chromium(VI) and chromium(V). To test this, we conducted experiments to either provide evidence for our hypothesis or disprove it.  This work commenced some 15 years ago with studies on the changes in the nature of chromium(III) supplements exposed to simulated gastrointestinal juices, as well as in human and animal blood serum over times that mimicked the residence time of the supplements in the human body. We discovered that all supplements were changed to a range of different Cr(III) species in both the GI tract and the blood.1,2  Common species were observed, but the rates at which they formed were dependent on the nature of the chromium(III) supplement.  Both the supplements themselves and the chromium(III) species that formed in blood serum were partially oxidised to Cr(VI) at concentrations of the oxidant, hydrogen peroxide (a type of bleach), found in the blood of people with type II diabetes.1,2 One of the clinical features of patients with type II diabetes is increased levels of oxidants, such as hydrogen peroxide, in their blood and cells. These oxidants are associated with many of the side-effects of type II diabetes that are associated with reduced life expectancy. These transformed chromium(III) species bound to blood proteins were more easily oxidised to chromium(VI) than the administered Cr(III) supplements.  The faster a particular chromium(III) supplement reacted with blood proteins to form these easily oxidised chromium(III)-protein species, the more active was the Cr(III) supplement in its anti-diabetic activity in animal and human studies reported by other groups.1-5  According to many health and regulatory bodies, chromium(III) has minimal or no efficacy in glucose metabolism and no other beneficial effects, such as weight loss or muscle building, in well conducted human and animal trials with non-diabetic subjects. This is consistent with our proposed mechanism of action. It is only under oxidising physiological conditions associated with type II diabetes that chromium(III) can be partially transformed to sufficient concentrations of carcinogenic chromium(VI) to enable significant biological activity.  In a large clinical trial where diabetic patients were treated with high doses of chromium(III) picolinate (one of the least efficacious supplements in animal studies), there was no efficacy in patients with controlled type II diabetes. Only those patients with uncontrolled type II diabetes exhibited improved glucose metabolism.  These patients, who have the highest concentrations of oxidants with the ability to transform chromium(III) to chromium(VI) in blood, are therefore at the greatest risk of developing Cr-induced cancers. Even where efficacy was observed, glucose metabolism was only reduced to the levels in patients with controlled type II diabetes; i.e., no patients exhibited a return to normal glucose metabolism.4,5 Coupled with all of this information our separate studies showed that chromium(VI) and chromium(V), but not chromium(III), are strong inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) enzymes.  The relevance of this is that drugs that inhibit PTPs activate circulating insulin in people with type II diabetes.  That is, it causes insulin to bind more strongly to cells involved in glucose metabolism (such as fat cells) to bring about the cascade of biochemical reactions that import glucose into cells and metabolise it.1-5 Thus we were able to link all of the animal, human and in vitro studies to show that physiological conditions under which chromium(III) had the highest probability of being transformed to chromium(VI) were also those in which chromium(III) supplements were most active.1-5 Moreover, we were able to provide a mechanism of activity that required chromium(VI) and chromium(V) to be generated for insulin enhancing activity.1-5  What remained was to establish whether we could observe Cr(VI) and Cr(V) in cells treated with chromium(III) supplements. This has now been established in our most recent study6 that have just been published. Contrary to the press releases of the dietary supplement industry, the published paper was carefully planned to mimic those conditions found in vivo.  The chromium(III) supplement chosen was that which had a chemical structure most closely resembling those generated in blood plasma. Thus we were able to complete the circle in linking our extensive studies on the biochemistry of chromium(III) species generated from chromium(III) supplements in the blood and show that such species were absorbed by the relevant cells and partially oxidised to chromium(VI) and chromium(V). (more…)