Carbohydrate Addicts' Official
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

on Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) Chromium

Q: What is GTF chromium? Why do people need it?

A: GTF chromium was discovered when yeast extracts mixed with insulin were found to make insulin work better in the lowering of blood sugar levels. GTF, which contains chromium, was also found to be important in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics. GTF is an essential micronutrient but can not be classified as either a trace element or a vitamin. It is currently classified as a "nutrient" which means that it can be sold over the counter (without prescription or regulation). While glucose tolerance factor chromium is found naturally in our foods: beef, beer, black pepper, brewer's yeast, calves' liver, cheese, clams, fresh fruits, lobsters, mushrooms, potatoes, scallops, thyme, whole grains, wines, research studies at the United States Department of Agriculture have estimated that as many as nine out of ten American diets are deficient in this important nutrient. Not only do most of us not get enough GTF chromium, the simple sugars in our diets, stress, and the simple act of aging all reduce the chromium supplies our bodies may have.

Q: Is chromium picolinate the same as GTF chromium? Can I take the picolinate instead?

A: It is important to know that chromiums are not created equal. Chromium picolinate is not GTF chromium. There have been some concerns regarding the picolinate part of chromium picolinate and until that issue is clarified, we would not recommend taking chromium picolinate.

To our knowledge, however, there has never been any question regarding the safety of GTF chromium. If GTF chromium supplementation is selected (as always after consultation with a doctor), it is important that it contain no other additives, such as niacin. The label should state that the product has "biological activity".

Be aware that taking a vitamin pill that contains chromium is not the same as taking GTF chromium; most vitamin pills do not contain biologically active chromium.

What you take with your GTF chromium is important. Zinc competes with chromium for absorption and therefore it is generally recommended that GTF be taken with no food or other supplementations.

The daily recommended supplementation of GTF is 200 micrograms. GTF usually comes as a 100 microgram tablet or as a 200 microgram tablet. Toxic levels are 10,000 times that found in a 200 microgram tablet and therefore is considered safe.

More information on GTF can be found in our most recent books for adults, The Carbohydrate Addict's LifeSpan Program and Healthy For Life

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