This study was done to test a combination of l-arabinose and trivalent chromium and the effects on blood glucose and insulin levels in humans. L-arabinose is a sweet-tasting sugar which is inexpensive, easily absorbed and has been shown to reduce the absorption of dietary sucrose. This prevents elevated levels of blood glucose and insulin. Chromium taken in various forms has been shown to improve a person’s response to insulin.
Testing was done of 20 non-diabetic patients on their ability to handle a sucrose load for one day. After fasting and a blood sugar test, they were given a dose of 70 grams of sugar. Their glucose levels were measured at 30, 45, 60 and 90 minutes. They were tested on a second day after receiving a dose of a mixture of 1,000 mg. of l-arabinose and a patented food source of 200 mcg. of trivalent chromium. The same blood testing procedure was done. The patients did not know if they actually received the chromium and l-arabinose (LA-Cr) or a placebo. Ten of the subjects were given a daily serving of LA-Cr for four weeks. For them, a glucose tolerance test was given each week.
In a second study, 50 non-diabetics were given glucose testing in addition to insulin blood levels fasting and again at 30 and 60 minutes with and without LA-Cr supplementation.
In both studies the results were reported in terms of suppression. That is, the results attempt to show how much the elevation of glucose and insulin levels resulting from a sucrose load were suppressed when the patients were given LA-Cr. Too much elevation of either insulin or glucose has negative health effects.
The data showed that LA-Cr suppressed glucose levels in all cases as compared to levels prior to treatment. Circulating insulin levels were suppressed at 60 minutes after the LA-Cr treatment. The only other influence found was that the suppression of glucose was related to the percent of body fat. People with the lowest % body fat had the greatest suppression of glucose from LA-Cr.
The LA-Cr dose gave a 28% reduction of insulin levels at 60 minutes after the dose was given. In two tests, glucose levels were reduced by 18% and 31%. The benefits persisted over a 28 day treatment period.
CONCLUSION: L-arabinose seems to work by suppressing sucrose absorption and chromium enhances sensitivity to insulin. The combination works well to control blood sugar elevations. Individual responses are better in people with lower body fat.
To see the author’s abstract of the article, click on the title of the article. Then, to read the full article, click on the free full text icon.
NOTE: Read about the importance of trace elements in glucose metabolism.