Is chromium deficiency related to glaucoma?
Chromium deficiency has been known to be related to diabetes. According to an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Vermont: “Prior human studies have suggested that chromium picolinate decreases insulin levels and improves blood sugar metabolism in both obese people and people with type 2 diabetes.” Richard Anderson, of the US Department of Agriculture, seconded the positive assessment of Chromium: “Essentially all the studies using chromium picolinate supplementation for impaired glucose intolerance and diabetes showed a positive effect.”
What does this have to do with Glaucoma?
Dr. Ben Lane an alternative doctor has studied “Fatigue Syndrome” This is a syndrome of eye strain especially after long periods of reading with improper reading glasses. He has measured an elevation in intra-ocular pressure related to the number of hours of eye strain doing close work. During reading, a muscle inside the eye, called the ciliary muscle contracts to help bring the reading material into focus. Dr. Lane feels that proper reading glasses are essential to help relax the eyes, reduce strain and prevent an increase in pressure. Lack of chromium may also be another factor that contributes to this Fatigue Syndrome. Chromium deficiency causes a decrease in utilization of glucose which is necessary for this muscles of focusing to function optimally.
According to Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, Chromium levels have been found to be reduced in the red blood cells of individuals with glaucoma. A recent article in the Townscend Letter reported the following:
Normal healthy patients- 279 nanogram/ml of RBC
Open angle Glaucoma- 119 nonograms/ml of RBC
Foods high in Chromium
Red wine and red grapes
Fat in red meat
Another study showed that Vanadium which is major inhibitor of chromium causes a increase in intra-ocular pressure. In this study topical vanadium drops caused an increase in intra-ocular pressure.
Foods high in Vanadium
Commercially fed poultry
Kelp and seaweed
Wait red wine is on both lists! How can this be? Well Chromium is much higher than Vanadium in red wine so the net effect is more chromium. So for all the red wine drinkers who are reading this article you are safe!
Importance of testing chromium levels is you have glaucoma.
Based on the current research and opinion of many alternative doctors all glaucoma patients should have their chromium tested. Fortunately a chromium test is very simple and it is based on a taste test. A 1% solution of Chromium Chloride is placed under the tngue and the patient reports the “taste”. A very weak taste or a taste like water implies a dificiency in chromium. A strong nasty taste indicates adequate levels of chromium.
I am now performing a chromium taste test on all of my patients with glaucoma. This test is a accurate indicator of your chromium levels ans at the the same time will give an indication of your overall nutritional state.
I am shocked that most glaucoma vitamins do not have chromium and I am disturbed that very few glaucoma patients have had chromium levels tested! These products that I recommend for glaucoma have key ingredients to help strengthen the optic nerve and lower Intra-ocular pressure. There are few optic nerve formula’s that have these unique ingredients.