Chromium

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
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Frunobulax
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Chromium

Post by Frunobulax »

Since this hasn't been discussed in a long time... I recently got a recommendation from a patient that claimed a chromium supplement fixed all her (severe) RLS issues. I dug around a little, and found next to nothing on this. One doctor states on his webpage that he routinely measures chromium levels, and 9 out of 10 RLS patients are deficient. I also found information that chromium should always be supplemented together with zinc and manganese, as patients with chromium deficiency are typically deficient in these trace elements too.

But there seems to be little to no robust research on this. Apparently chromium deficiency may cause/exacarbate insulin resistance and thyroid issues. I am insulin resistant (I was prediabetic before I went on low carb) and my TSH is at the very bottom of the normal range, which hasn't changed even though I've tried hard to fix this with diet and supplements. (Negative on Hashimoto antibodies though.)

I'm not sure if it will be the solution to all my troubles, but I'll add some chromium to my supplement mix for a few weeks and we'll see if it does something. Has anyone seen improvement with chromium?

badnights
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Location: Northwest Territories, Canada

Re: Chromium

Post by badnights »

Very interesting article on this at https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Chrom ... fessional/

Sounds like very little is known, not even enough to establish RDAs (recommended daily allowances).

"In 1957, a compound in brewers’ yeast was found to prevent an age-related decline in the ability of rats to maintain normal levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood. Chromium was identified as the active ingredient in this so-called “glucose tolerance factor” in 1959"

"reports of actual chromium deficiency in humans are rare. Three hospitalized patients who were fed intravenously showed signs of diabetes (including weight loss, neuropathy, and impaired glucose tolerance) until chromium was added to their feeding solution. The chromium, added at doses of 150 to 250 mcg/day for up to two weeks, corrected their diabetes symptoms [7,33-34]. Chromium is now routinely added to intravenous solutions." I did not know that 8)

Apparently, the chromium contents of foods in food-composition tables are very general because the amount is changed easily by "agricultural and manufacturing processes" and maybe even by contamination during the analyses.

I haven't read it all... The only reason I went down this rabbit hole is because I use a lot of flaked dulse and other seaweeds, which I've heard are high in heavy metals. So I wondered if I was getting adequate dietary chromium simply by eating seaweeds. Hard to determine, given the above (unknown RDA and unknown amounts in foods). However, we can guess. The average daily intake in healthy people is estimated to be 20-50 micrograms, and dulse contains 10 micrograms per 7 grams. I would have to eat at least 14 g of the stuff ... which I'm not doing (egad). Glad it's found in other foods too....

Let us know if you notice any difference after supplementing!
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

Frunobulax
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Chromium

Post by Frunobulax »

Frunobulax wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:54 am
I'm not sure if it will be the solution to all my troubles, but I'll add some chromium to my supplement mix for a few weeks and we'll see if it does something. Has anyone seen improvement with chromium?
After a week I can say it's not a wonder drug, but it does have one rather interesting effect on me: I'm starting to dream a lot more (or rather I remember my dreams). And I've learned about a possible connection why chromium would do this. So let me ramble on for a bit. Some of it is still a bit hazy, as I Iearned most of this in the last few days.

Now, I always thought it likely that I might have Pyrroluria, which is a condition that hampers some natural detox mechanisms and can therefore have a very wide range of symptoms. It's hereditary, and several family members tested positive for it. My first test came up borderline, the next one was negative, so I thought this was done. But then a third test came back undeniably positive, just 2 weeks ago. (I get tested for Pyrroluria every year or so.) There are many symptoms attributed to Pyrroluria (and I have pretty much all of them, especially fatigue, brain fog, stress intolerance and a bit of depressions), but one of the most obvious is that patients can't remember their dreams (or don't dream), and treatment is often validated on whether patients start to dream. A second symptom is an enlarged spleen, and my spleen was enlarged significantly for unknown reasons.

Now it's well known that Pyrroluria patients need B6 and zinc, but it's less known that the condition also prevents the metabolism of manganese and chromium. And I was indeed taking B6, zinc and manganese, but no chromium. I also learned that I should take P-5-P (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) instead of B6, as patients with Pyrroluria have problems to convert the B6 (Pyridoxin) to P-5-P, the bioactive form.

Take this with a grain of salt, as there are some people claim that Pyrroluria is not a real disease. But I realized about 6 years ago that I do need vitamin B6 (I stopped taking it several times, and every time I started to feel distincly unwell after 2-3 weeks, which would be consistent with the half-life of B6 in our organism), so I think there is something here. A problem with detoxing would also explain why my RLS would get slowly better: I started taking zinc and manganese about a year ago, and since then I reduced my dosage from 30mg Oxycodone to 20mg. So a possible reason might be that my body started to slowly clear the toxins I have stored for almost 50 years.

It also makes sense on the biochemical side: Pyrroluria impairs the production of CYP450, detox enzymes mostly produced in the liver. Most RLS drugs are metabolized via CYP3A4 (of the CYP450 family), also antidepressants, PPIs and more drugs. And one key issue that I had was that all those drugs seemed to have limited efficiency for me, and some doctor explained that this happens because they all compete for CYP3A4 (or something).

Bottom line: Looks like I still have a lot to learn here. Any pointers towards helpful research is appreciated. I wonder if there is a connection between Pyrroluria and iron metabolism or oxalates...

In any case I'll replace B6 with P-5-P in my supplements, and hope that the slow improvement continues.

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