Insulin plays a key role in optimum cell function by acting as a "key" in the lock to the door that allows glucose into the cell. Chromium supplementation primarily acts to improve insulin sensitivity, so more glucose can enter the cell. The additional glucose allows more energy to be available for proper cell function.
GLUT4 is the principle glucose transporter, responsible for facilitating the movement of glucose into the cell.1 A recent study found that longissimus muscle biopsies from cattle supplemented chromium propionate had an increase in internalized GLUT4s after a 147-day feeding period (Figure 1),2 which indicated these animals had more sufficient insulin sensitivity compared to the controls at day 147. The decrease of GLUT4 density on day 147 in the control animals have been an indication of decreased insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance occurring.
Figure 1. Longissimus muscle biopsies of feedlot steers supplemented with chromium propionate throughout the feeding period (yellow indicated GLUT4 receptors).3
1. Insulin stimulates glucose uptake by cells.3
2. Readily available chromium from KemTRACE Chromium allows for increased glucose uptake by muscle cells through stabilization of the insulin receptor and subsequent upregulation of intracellular Glucose-4 transporters.
3. Greater glucose uptake by muscle cells increases protein synthesis.1
4. Increased protein synthesis may result in heavier carcass weight.1
Insulin plays a key role in optimum cell function by acting as a "key" in the lock to the door that allows glucose into the cell. Chromium supplementation primarily acts to improve insulin sensitivity, so more glucose can enter the cell. The additional glucose allows more energy to be available for proper cell function. This results in better animal maintenance, growth and immunity. KemTRACE® Chromium is supported by more than 20 years of Kemin research and is the only U.S. FDA-reviewed form of chromium propionate.
This study evaluated supplementing KemTRACE® Chromium at varying concentrations to feeder cattle fed a high concentrate diet throughout the entire finishing period. Supplementing chromium propionate in feedlot diets resulted in increased weight gain and skeletal muscle growth in beef feeder cattle. The results of this study indicate feeding chromium from chromium propionate throughout the entire finishing period maximizes feedlot performance and optimizes carcass muscle accretion.
Chromium included in the diet as KemTRACE® Chromium has improved the overall performance in beef cattle. The objective of this study was to evaluate feeding varying concentrations of chromium to beef cattle fed a high concentrate diet throughout the finishing phase, utilizing live animal and carcass performance. The results of this study indicate feeding 450 ppb of chromium throughout the entire finishing period maximizes feedlot performance and optimizes carcass muscle accretion.
Dr. Brad Johnson
Texas Tech University
Gordon W. Davis Regent's Chair in Meat and Muscle Biology Coordinator of Graduate Student Programs
1Shaohui Huang and Michael P. Czech. The GLUT4 Glucose Transporter. Cell Metabolism 5, April 2007.
2Johnson, B., Baggerman, J., Kim, J., and Smith, Z., Chromium Propionate Enhances Feedlot Performance and Carcass Quality through Changes in Nutrient Metabolism. 2016 Plains Nutrition Conference. Presented April 14, 2016.
3Weekes, T. E. C. 1991. Hormonal control of glucose metabolism. In Proceedings of 7th International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology (ed. T. Tsuda, Y. Sasaki, and R. Kawashima), pp. 183. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
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