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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
On-line version ISSN 1806-9940
GOMES, Mariana Rezende; ROGERO, Marcelo Macedo and TIRAPEGUI, Julio. Considerations about chromium, insulin and physical exercise. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.5, pp. 262-266. ISSN 1806-9940. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922005000500003.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral present in trace amounts in some foods such as meat, whole grains, oleaginous plants and legumes. This mineral is currently being used as a food supplement in sports in order to promote a greater muscle mass gain and loss of body fat. However, the participation of chromium in metabolism is limited to an increase on the insulin sensitivity by the binding of four chromium atoms to a specific intracellular protein denoted apochromodulin that, in turn, binds to the insulin receptor of peripheral tissue cells concomitantly with insulin, although at another site located in the intracellular domain. This binding amplifies the cascade of intracellular signals responsible for stimulating the translocation of GLUT4 and increases glucose and amino acid uptake. Chromium may also inhibit the key enzyme in the synthesis of cholesterol, thus improving the lipid profile of individuals with dyslipidemia. The alterations on the body composition occurring in individuals who practice sports are not significant but, on the other hand, chromium supplementation may improve the lipid profile and the symptoms of type II diabetes of individuals affected by these types of metabolic unbalances.
Keywords : Chromium; Insulin; Exercise; Apochromodulin; Diabetes; Cholesterol.