Chromium, the mineral, is an essential trace element required for normal protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Research by the USDA shows that the typical American diet is low in chromium. Other research shows that chromium supplements can often help control blood sugar levels, which is very important in such conditions as diabetes and hypoglycemia, and can even help lower cholesterol.
Chromium supplements work by activating the hormone insulin. However, as you might have guessed, not all chromium supplements are alike. The specific chemical structure and composition of the chromium compound determines how biologically active (read as effective) it can be.
All one has to do is visit any health food or vitamin store and read labels to determine there are many forms of dietary chromium being sold. The bioavailability (absorption and retention activity) and biological activity (ability to potentiate insulin) varies with each compound. Inorganic chromium such as chromium chloride is poorly absorbed (0.5-2%) by our bodies and has little or no effect on insulin due to the fact that it must first be converted into a biologically active form. Our body has a limited ability to provide this process.
The most popular forms of organic chromium are a niacin-bound chromium, polynicotinate, and chromium picolinate. These compounds may sound alike, however, there are major chemical differences between the two. Chromium polynicotinate is the compound used in Doctor's Nutrition ChromeMax. Let's see why.
First introduced in 1988, chromium picolinate became popular when a scientist from a Midwestern college reported that it increased lean body mass in male athletes. It is currently being marketed as the biologically active form of chromium with the ability to reduce body fat, build lean muscle mass and increase your life span by more than one multi-level marketing group.
Chromium Polynicotinate is a family of niacin-bound chromium compounds. These biologically active chromium compounds were discovered by Dr. Walter Mertz. Dr. Mertz, former director of the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center, identified a chromium-niacin complex as the active chromium ingredient in Brewer's yeast. His research showed that niacin-bound or polynicotinate chromium strongly potentiates insulin while chromium picolinate does not.
Polynicotinate chromium is also more bioavailable than chromium picolinate. Animal research study at the University of California found that polynicotinate chromium was absorbed and retained up to 311% better than chromium picolinate and 672% better than chromium chloride. The high bioavailability means that polynicotinate chromium has the ability to deliver more of the healthy benefits chromium has to offer.
Polynicotinate chromium is compounded together with niacin, a B vitamin, whereas the chromium picolinate is compounded with Picolinic acid. According to current research, it is unclear what effect picolinic acid has on the body. Little is known about its nutritional value or physiological effects.
Chromium picolinate does provide the mineral chromium to the body. There is no evidence that chromium picolinate is a naturally occurring substance or has a normal physiological role. Long term supplementation with picolinate complexes in high doses may even be harmful. Picolinic acid competes with niacin, removes iron from cells, and has been shown to alter normal glandular function in laboratory animals. This does not sound like anything that one would take for it's health benefits.
As stated above, chromium picolinate became popular through marketing. Virtually all the claims associated with the benefits of chromium picolinate originate from studies involving the product's inventor, who has a financial interest in the sale of the product! This conflict of interest has raised serious questions about the validity of the research and claims used to promote chromium picolinate. Researchers at Louisiana State University found that male athletes taking chromium picolinate (at same dosages used in the inventor's original studies) actually gained less lean body mass than those taking a placebo.
The claim that chromium picolinate is "patented by the U. S. Department of Agriculture" is somewhat misleading. The USDA received this patent due to the inventor working there at the time he developed the product, and the USDA does not endorse chromium picolinate for use in human nutrition.
The use of polynicotinate in human nutrition is based on studies performed at independent universities and government research centers. Studies at Auburn University have shown that polynicotinate lowers cholesterol in humans by 14%, and tests at New Zealand's Massey University have shown that polynicotinate chromium is many times more potent than other forms of chromium.
The research speaks loudly and that is why we at Doctor's Nutrition chose to use the polynicotinate form of chromium. Our interests are in the health benefits, not in marketing hype. We hope that you appreciate our concern for health and our constant vigilance in product research.
Roger V. Kendall, Ph.D.
There have been some exciting breakthroughs in the research on Colostrum over the past 10 years due to advances of innovative biotechnology. Studies on this versatile substance, a totally natural product, have shown its many benefits to health.1 Colostrum can strengthen and help maintain the immune system, promote a growth hormone effect and enhance the healing of gastrointestinal problems such as gastrointestitis, diarrhea and intestinal permeability.2,3,4 The antimicrobial activity of Colostrum is well documented. Colostrum has antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal properties and has been found useful in the treatment of sinusitis, bronchitis, hepatitis, herpes, urinary tract infection, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Its dramatic healing properties are also being used to support recovery from joint and connective tissue disorders.2 The growth factors present include IGF-1 (insulin-like growth hormone) and TGF-B (transforming growth factor-beta), which support the growth and repair of both muscle and cartilage.5,6 It is no wonder that Colostrum is being used to treat a wide spectrum of health problems by physicians, athletic trainers and nutritionists. As a totally natural product, Colostrum has the combined advantage of no adverse side effects coupled with potent healing properties. Colostrum’s ability to enhance the immune system may be the basis of its health promoting effects.7
Potential Areas of Use
Bovine Colostrum has multiple areas where its benefits have been reported. These include:
Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal protection
Promote Bone and Joint Health
Muscle Mass Development-Growth Hormone Effect
Fatigue and Muscle Pain Relief
Colostrum is the first mammary secretion following the birth of a newborn, prior to lactation. The immune boosting properties of Colostrum are essential to newborns and contain growth factors essential to development. Biotechnology has shown that Bovine Colostrum is nearly identical to Human Colostrum and can benefit growth and immunity in children and adults of all ages.
Colostrum is a rich source of protein, including immune proteins classed as immunoglobulins (IgG, IgD, IgE, IgM and IgA), antibody stimulating factors and growth hormones. Colostrum contains Lactoferrin, an iron binding glycoprotein, which has potent antimicrobial properties. It also contains vitamins, nucleotides, enzymes and other components that destroy disease-causing microorganisms. It is an especially rich source of Vitamins A, Folic Acid, B12 and E. Colostrum contains a wide range of specific nucleotides, including orotic acid, an important mineral transporter known as Vitamin B13.
Mineral content includes Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium to name a few. All of the amino acids are present. The especially high levels of immunoglobulins or antibodies make Colostrum an effective immunological agent against most gut encountered bacteria, virus and yeast.8 Both human and animal pathogens respond to Bovine Colostrum. These include Helicobacter pylori (which causes ulcers in humans), Helicobacter mustelae (a gastric pathogen in ferrets), Candida albicans (associated with yeast infection), E. Coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Listeria. A recent publication in the Journal of Infectious Diseases showed the effectiveness of Colostrum against H. pylori and H. mustalae.9
Extensive published research in the use of Colostrum has demonstrated the scientific basis of the clinical applications of this vital food. Natural antibiotic products like Colostrum can do much to replace the overuse and abuse of antibiotics in children. Extensive use of antibiotics has been linked to allergy and intestinal problems in children when they grow older. In fact, Colostrum may be the product of choice for prevention and treatment of allergy and gastrointestinal health problems. Bovine Colostrum offers a viable alternative to conventional antibiotics.10
Many doctors are now using Bovine Colostrum to treat chronic swelling of the nasal passages, respiratory infections, dental infections, allergies and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Allergy patients report significant reduction of nasal obstruction and inflammation during the hay fever season. In summary, Colostrum may be effective against most infections that strike the human species, including the common cold.
Athletes, elderly people and individuals with musculoskeletal injuries have found that they can capitalize on Colostrum’s anabolic effect.4, 5,8 Colostrum has the ability to enhance fat burning and promotes increased muscle mass. Studies have shown that Colostrum will effectively raise the IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) levels in the body, which mediates the actions of hGH (Human Growth Hormone). What is interesting is that IGF-1 stimulates muscle growth even in the absence of hGH. This discovery shows that consuming hGH orally may not be the most effective or safest way for athletes and body builders to increase muscle mass since one can obtain the same, if not better results by consuming Bovine Colostrum. The structure of Bovine IGF is almost identical to Human IGF and appears to be just as potent in providing powerful cellular growth.11 The growth stimulating factors in Colostrum promote muscular growth, decrease adipose tissue as well as stimulate healing and tissue repair of nerve fibers, muscle, bone and cartilage. The benefits of Colostrum for the elderly become obvious when we consider that the product may enhance muscle tone, skin elasticity and increase bone density. The growth promoting factors in Colostrum are of great benefit to wound healing.
Colostrum is an ideal product for people who have gastrointestinal difficulties. The product can help individuals who have assimilation and absorption problems, Colitis, Diverticulosis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory disorders of the GI tract. It is especially beneficial for people suffering from chronic diarrhea.12,13,14 Diarrhea in children caused by rotavirus has been successfully treated with Bovine Colostrum.15
Colostrum also contains factors which may relieve the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. A study done at the Mathilda and Terence Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, England, found that Colostrum led to rapid improvement of decreased pain, greater joint mobility and less inflammation in most patients.16 The presence of certain peptides in the product has been found to induce anti-inflammatory cytokine induced activity, which allows a person’s immune response to readjust its response mechanism against auto-immune disease processes.17 It can be said that these peptides in Colostrum act as true immuno-modulators by affecting the levels of specific interleukins, which promote anti-inflammatory response. The doctors in the study reported that the benefits of Colostrum were extended to Osteoarthritis as well, in the 10 patients who participated. After a three-month follow up, it was established that the patients continued to improve even after prolonged therapy. The advantage of oral administration, low cost and absence of side effects, when compared to the current drug therapies available, demonstrates the potential value of Colostrum in treating these conditions.
Doctor's Nutrition Colostrum contains 30% active immunoglobulins for enhanced immune properties against a variety of bacteria, viruses and other pathogenics.18, Doctor's Nutrition Colostrum is prepared with utmost scientific care assuming that the biological activity of the product is not destroyed. This fragile product is produced under strict Quality Control with the Colostrum being expressed or collected from pasture-fed cows in the first 12-36 hours after they give birth to ensure the high immunoglobulin potency required (greater than 30%). Temperature, pH and drying procedures are closely monitored. The temperature is kept below 40°C to ensure that biological activity is not lost and potency is ensured.
It is interesting to note that Colostrum contains certain proteins, such as Trypsin and Protease Inhibitors which protect the proteins (immunoglobulins, etc.) from being broken down in the stomach.20 These inhibitors allow for most of the components of Colostrum to pass through the stomach acids without being digested. This means that the proteins are absorbed into the bloodstream in tact, to accomplish their removal of toxins, viruses, bacteria and fungi in the body.
The Colostrum is collected from pasture-fed cows, which are pesticide, antibiotic and hormone free. Doctor's Nutrition Bovine Colostrum is non-allergenic and totally safe.
Colostrum contains the following vital components for a more enhanced immune system function and growth promoting effects:
- Full Spectrum of Amino Acids
- Key Minerals and Vitamins
- Immunoglobulins (IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM)
- Protekin-rich Polypeptide (PRP)
- Trypsin Inhibitors
- Oligo Polysaccharides
- Insulin Growth Factor
- Transforming Growth Factor
- Nucleotides including Orotic Acid