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Effect of chromium supplementation on glucose tolerance in cats
Diabetes mellitus is commonly seen in cats, often due to glucose intolerance and insuline resistance in older cats with lack of exercise and obesity. This study evaluates if the supplementation of chromium to the food might decrease the diabetes risk.

The effect of dietary chromium supplementation on glucose and insulin metabolism in healthy, non-obese cats was evaluated.
Thirty-two cats were randomly divided into four groups and fed experimental diets consisting of a standard diet with 0 ppb (control), 150 ppb, 300 ppb, or 600 ppb added chromium as chromium tripicolinate. Intravenous glucose tolerance, insulin tolerance and insulin sensitivity tests with minimal model analysis were performed before and after 6 weeks of feeding the test diets.

During the glucose tolerance test, glucose concentrations, area under the glucose concentration-time curve, and glucose half-life (300 ppb only), were significantly lower after the trial in cats supplemented with 300 ppb and 600 ppb chromium, compared with values before the trial. Fasting glucose concentrations measured on a different day in the biochemistry profile were also significantly lower after supplementation with 600 ppb chromium.
There were no significant differences in insulin concentrations or indices in either the glucose or insulin tolerance tests following chromium supplementation, nor were there any differences between groups before or after the dietary trial.

Importantly, this study has shown a small but significant, dose-dependent improvement in glucose tolerance in healthy, non-obese cats supplemented with dietary chromium. Further long-term studies are warranted to determine if the addition of chromium to feline diets is advantageous.
Cats most likely to benefit are those with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance from lack of exercise, obesity and old age. Healthy cats at risk of glucose intolerance and diabetes from underlying low insulin sensitivity or genetic factors may also benefit from long-term chromium supplementation.

Source: D J Appleton, J S Rand, G D Sunvold, J Priest(2002): Dietary chromium tripicolinate supplementation reduces glucose concentrations and improves glucose tolerance in normal-weight cats. In: Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery p 13-25, Volume 4, Number 1, March 2002




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