Most diets do not contain enough Chromium, an essential trace mineral. Chromium assists the action of insulin, a hormone involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. One capsule provides 170% of the Daily Value for this essential element.
As many as 90% of American diets are low in chromium, but few people are deficient in this important mineral. The elderly, people who indulge in strenuous exercise, those who consume excessive amounts of sugary foods, and pregnant women are most likely to be deficient in chromium. Low chromium levels can increase blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat) and cholesterol levels and increase the risk for a number of conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
Studies suggest that chromium supplementation may be helpful for the following conditions:
The benefit of chromium supplements for diabetes has been studied and debated for a number of years. While some studies have shown no beneficial effects of chromium use for people with diabetes, other studies have shown that chromium supplements may reduce blood sugar levels as well as the amount of insulin needed by people with diabetes. Pregnancy-induced and steroid-induced diabetes are thought to benefit from chromium as well. To address the ongoing debate, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently called upon researchers to address the safety and effectiveness of chromium for diabetes more fully.
Although not all studies agree, chromium has demonstrated the ability to lower total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and raise HDL ("good") cholesterol levels in the blood, particularly in people with high cholesterol.
Despite the popularity of chromium for weight loss and even though some studies suggest that chromium may improve lean body mass (namely, muscle) and reduce body fat, its effects are small compared to those of exercise and a well-balanced diet.
High Blood Pressure
Animal studies suggest that chromium may help improve blood pressure. This has yet to be tested on people. Until more information is available, use of chromium for this purpose is not currently recommended.
Benefits and Uses
• trace mineral that is essential to the body's production of insulin
• helps stabilize the body's blood sugar level
• helps boost energy, burn fat and build muscle
• improves blood circulation
• important for those deficient (the aging population and people who do not eat a good balanced diet)
Chromium Picolinate Review Review by AstroNutrition In-House Review
Chromium is a key trace mineral that most diets include tiny amounts of. It is important for insulin function, as it helps with the regulation of blood sugar levels. It also plays a role in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. Thus it is a useful common ingredient in weight loss products like fat burners, however, some retailers exaggerate its effects.
Some claim that chromium can improve muscle growth and athletic performance. However, several studies have proved that chromium does not provide such benefits.
The overall effect of chromium is also often exaggerated. The studies found that those using chromium lost only a little bit more weight than the placebo group. Thus it is hard to say it really has any weight loss benefits.
In a study (J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2000 May;55(5):M260-3) of people that were not obese it was found that it did not affect insulin sensitivity, serum lips, or body composition.
However, there are some studies that show more positive results. This includes one study (Diabetes Care. 2006 Aug;29(9):1826-32) finding that it reduced weight gan and improved insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study (J Psychiatr Pact, 2005 Sep;11(5):302-14) found that it helped with carb cravings and appetite regulation in those with atypical depression.
There is also a study of African American women (Diabetes Obes. Metab. 1999 Nov;1(6):331-7) that found that a very bioavailable version of chromium called chromium polynicotinate to result in major fat loss without muscle lose when compared to the placebo group. In this study the women also ate a modest diet and exercised.
Thus the studies related to chromium’s effects are somewhat contradictory. It does seem that it can be beneficial for those that are insulin resistant or hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia can often be characterized by extreme cravings for sweets along with fluctuating energy levels. However, it does not really provide the exaggerated weight loss benefits some retailers claim.
One way to deal with insulin resistance or hypoglycemia is to cease eating junk foods, processed foods, and highly refined foods and eat many small meals that always include a lean protein.
You can also use a chromium supplement to help in eliminating sugar cravings, especially in the form of Chromium polynicotinate. Chromium is also found in food including broccoli, onions, raw tomatoes, grape juice, whole grain cereals, nuts, rhubarb, and kidney beans. (Posted on 2/16/11)
|Serving Size:||1 capsule|
|Other Ingredients||Rice Flour and Gelatin (capsule)|
|Directions||As a dietary supplement, take 1 capsule daily, preferably with meals|
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