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Med Hypotheses. 2011 Jul;77(1):84-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.03.032. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Is chromium from stainless steel utensils responsible for epidemic of type 2 diabetes?

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  • 1Birthright Genetic Clinic and Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Pune, India. drprakashgambhir@yahoo.com


Type 2 diabetes prevalence is rising rapidly in developing world especially in India in last few decades. 'Thrifty phenotype' and 'westernization of lifestyle' is used to explain this epidemic. Chromium is an important modulator in insulin and glucose metabolism. Preconceptional chromium exposure has been demonstrated to raise the corticosterone and glucose levels in offspring of rodent model. Chromium is chelated when acidic food is stored in the stainless steel utensils. Chromium levels are shown to be high in Asian Indians. The hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance is demonstrated in Indians from the newborn stage. We hypothesize that increased exposure to chromium in preconceptional and/or fetal stage leads to altered epigenetic control and altered endocrine and metabolic functioning. Increasing urbanization has led to increasing use of stainless steel and resultant exposure to chromium is at the least partly responsible for rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes. If proven avoiding or modifying the use of stainless steel utensils will halt the present epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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