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food for the brain

Championing optimum nutrition for the mind


Update on chromium for depression. Docharty et al. (2005). J. Psychiatr Pract., 11(5); 302-314, Davidson et al. (2003). Biol. Psychiatry, 1;53(3); 261-264, Piotrowska et al. (2008). Pharmacol. Rep. 60(6); 991-995. Khanam & Pillai (2007). Fundam. Clin. Pharmacol. 21(5); 531-534, Anton et al. (2008) Diabetes Technol. Ther. 10(5); 405-412.

Paper

 

Update on chromium for depression. Docharty et al. (2005). J. Psychiatr Pract., 11(5); 302-314, Davidson et al. (2003). Biol. Psychiatry, 1;53(3); 261-264, Piotrowska et al. (2008). Pharmacol. Rep. 60(6); 991-995. Khanam & Pillai (2007). Fundam. Clin. Pharmacol. 21(5); 531-534, Anton et al. (2008) Diabetes Technol. Ther. 10(5); 405-412.

Details

 

Two small placebo controlled trials have shown a role for high doses (600mcg) of the essential mineral chromium in the treatment of ‘atypical’ depression, characterized by periods of low mood accompanied with carbohydrate cravings, weight gain and excessive sleepiness. (Docharty et al., 2005, Davidson et al., 2003) More recent animal studies have reported an anti-depressant and ant-anxiety effect of chromium possibly linked to a serotonin promoting effect (Piotrowska et al., 2008, Khanam & Pillai, 2007). Chromium, which is an essential co-factor for the insulin receptor, has also been shown to reduce sugar and fat craving and tends to promote weight loss, a fact which in itself would cheer the average dieter up. (Anton A et al., 2008) In clinical practice we find that 400mcg of chromium, taken in the morning and a further 200mcg taken at lunch, produces a mood elevating effect in those with atypical depression. Chromium appears to work very fast with most people noticing an effect within three days. While a larger scale definitive trial is needed, with no toxicity reported below 10,000mcg, chromium is easily and safely tested in those with atypical depression.