Carbohydrate Cravings, Depression, and Chromium Supplements
The following is an excerpt from The Willner Window radio program, which can be heard every Sunday on WOR (710 AM) from 2 to 4 pm, or over the internet at www.wor710.com.
Sam: Good afternoon everyone, this is .... Welcome to The Willner Window. For those of you who might be first-time listeners, the focus of this show is nutritional supplements–vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies–and their proper usage. With me this afternoon is . .
Don, why don’t you get us started?
Don: I want to start off today’s program with some comments on depression, and carbohydrate cravings. Some of you might be surprised that there is a connection.
Dr. Podell: Well, there is a connect. Carbohydrate cravings, weight gain and unexplained fatigue are hallmark symptoms of atypical depression, a common, but frequently undiagnosed, depressive disorder estimated to affect as many as one-third of depressed patients.
According to a 1990 World Health Organization study, depression is ranked as the fourth most deadly disease worldwide and is expected to be second only to heart disease by 2020.
Sam: Now, as far as conventional medicine is concerned, there is currently no recognized treatment for carbohydrate cravings.
But a new study, presented at the 24th International Neuropsycho-pharmacology Congress in Paris found that nutritional supplementation with chromium in the form of chromium picolinate significantly improved carbohydrate cravings, in addition to other distinct symptoms of atypical depression.
Dr. Podell: This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in 113 patients diagnosed with atypical depression. As Sam said, they found that daily supplementation with chromium picolinate had significant anti-depressant effects in a patient sub-group with high levels of carbohydrate cravings.
People with the highest levels of carbohydrate cravings at baseline experienced the most significant clinical response to the chromium picolinate.
Sam: This study seems to correlate with the findings of another study, a pilot study published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry. The study was conducted at the Duke University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
According to Dr. Malcolm McLeod, a practicing psychiatrist, who collaborated on the Duke University study “We’ve seen remarkable improvements in depressed patients after supplementing with chromium picolinate,” He goes on to say “Chromium picolinate is