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Lipodystrophy, Syndrome X, and chromium deficiency
Jul 19, 2000

I just saw a report on CBS about recent research (at the University of Vermont, I believe) that treatment with chromium was shown to stabilize blood sugar and reduce body fat in people with Syndrome X. Since similarities have been noted between Syndrome X and the lipodystrophy syndrome, I am interested in whether adding chromium to my vitamin/mineral regimen might be useful for lipodystrophy. I know that several studies have suggested the PWAs have deficiencies in many nutrients, including excessive sulphur secretion, low levels of selenium, etc. The report above mentioned that people with Syndrome X appear to have a chromium deficiency. I am on a four drug regimen (Norvir, Fortovase, Epivir, Zerit). I have had a fairly significant increase in truncal girth without overall weight gain, as well as obvious loss of peripheral fat. Would taking a chromium supplement interact with these drugs? Is it possible to be tested for chromium deficiency without going to a specialized lab? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Henry

The data is somewhat soft on this. Chromium is found in brewer's yeast and meats/cheeses. Low chromium could result in insulin resistance and lipid elevations. Supplementing with vitamins ads 15-100micrograms with the RDA= 50-200 micrograms. Trace element supplements can add 100 micrograms or so. I don't see any problem using with PIs though I am unaware of any data that chromium deficiency exists in that setting or that supplements could reverse the problem. If any reader has a good reference please let me know. Keith Henry, M.D.



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