Similar to trace minerals like zinc, copper, and magnesium, Chromium is required by our body to function in a healthy manner. Chromium is needed by human beings in trace amounts. If you are someone who suffers from diabetes or who’s trying to lose weight, you might need to direct your attention to chromium as it might help.
The inclusion of chromium content in a regular diet helps maintain an increased level of energy throughout the day. Chromium is a micronutrient that is consumed in terms of milligrams or micrograms in contrast to macronutrients which require hundreds of grams of content to be consumed every day. Chromium helps,
- Break down fats and carbohydrate
- Stimulates fatty acid
- Synthesizes cholesterol
- Maintain healthy brain function.
- Aids insulin production
- Helps break down glucose
Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits that chromium provides our body and why is it important to include it in the diet.
Health Benefits of Chromium
Conditions Our Body
Chromium is the powerful controller of our body’s metabolism rates which includes how energy is used, how food is converted into energy and well each body processes function.
Aids Weight Loss
Chromium aids weight loss efforts by regulating blood sugar levels which in turn results in lesser food cravings. Also, it is also known to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
Improves Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have found that the inclusion of chromium supplements improved glucose utilization in people who could not tolerate glucose in their bodies.
Other studies have also found that chromium supplements can help lower blood sugar levels and insulin levels in diabetic patients.
Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Several studies show that consuming 100-200 mcg of chromium content daily helps lower high levels of cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels.
Apart from that, consuming chromium along with other vitamins and minerals is known to reduce blood fat levels in people with high blood fat. However, it is also true that chromium has shown no sign of positive results in cholesterol levels for women in their post-menopausal phase.
Helps Treat Depression
Apart from the above-stated health benefits, researchers have been trying to find out other benefits of chromium. Their study includes the effectiveness of chromium for treating depression as well. The case comes from a published article in 2010 that states that chromium can successfully treat a few types of mood disorders.
Further, when they started studying natural antidepressants in the market, it was found that consumption of chromium help people come out of their depression phase and also correct eating disorders if any.
Food Sources of Chromium
One of the best ways to get any sort of mineral, let alone chromium is through a healthy and balanced diet. So here’s a list of food items that you should be including in your diet in order to maintain a sufficient level of chromium.
- Whole grains
- Liver organ
Also read: Top 7 Foods That Are Packed With Chromium
Ideal Chromium Intake Chart
Chromium Deficiency Symptoms
Although experiencing a deficiency in chromium content is rare in a healthy human being, if you are consuming high amounts of sugar then chromium leaves your body faster through urine secretion.
This contributes to chromium deficiency. Apart from that, several infections, severe stress or trauma, and pregnancy can also trigger chromium secretion from the body. Symptoms may include,
- Glucose intolerance
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Weight loss
- Imbalance in brain coordination
- Poor memory
- Deteriorating eyesight
- Sudden changes in mood
The absorption rate of chromium content by our intestines is really low. Our body is able to properly absorb only 2.5% of all the chromium we have consumed. For this reason, dietary supplements with more effective absorption rates become the need of the hour.
Chromium picolinate is the type of mineral chromium that is usually included in oral supplements. It is an alternate form of chromium that gets absorbed more effectively. It works by increasing the rate at which our body responds to insulin. It also lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. As an added bonus, these supplements curb hunger cravings which prevents you from overeating or indulging in junk food.
Chromium picolinate supplements are popularly marketed to people who are looking to lose some weight and increase muscle mass. It is also a popular choice amongst bodybuilders and athletes who want to shoot up their energy levels and thus perform better.
Chromium polynicotinate is an oral dietary supplement that consists of equal amounts of chromium and niacin. Niacin is added to help the chromium content absorb better.
Chromium is a mineral that is essential for human health. It plays a vital role in glucose metabolism, insulin action, and other physiological functions in the body. While chromium can be found naturally in some foods, many people turn to supplements to ensure they are getting enough of this important nutrient. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of chromium, how much you should take, where you can find it in food, the risks of taking supplements, and more.
What is Chromium?
Chromium is a mineral that is found in nature in several different forms, including trivalent and hexavalent chromium. Trivalent chromium is the form that is essential for human health and is found in many foods. Hexavalent chromium, on the other hand, is a toxic form of the mineral that is primarily found in industrial settings. In the body, chromium plays a role in glucose metabolism, insulin action, and other physiological functions.
Functions of Chromium in the Body
Chromium is important for the regulation of blood sugar levels in the body. It works by enhancing the action of insulin, a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Chromium also plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and has been linked to weight loss and improved body composition. In addition to these functions, chromium may have other physiological effects on the body, although more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits.
Food Sources of Chromium
Chromium can be found naturally in some foods, including broccoli, grape juice, whole-grain bread, and some types of meat. However, the amount of chromium in these foods can vary depending on factors such as the soil in which they were grown and the processing methods used. As a result, many people turn to supplements to ensure they are getting enough chromium.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Chromium
The recommended daily allowance for chromium varies depending on age and gender. Adult men are generally advised to consume 35 mcg per day, while adult women are advised to consume 25 mcg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may require higher amounts. The tolerable upper intake level for chromium is 1,000 mcg per day for adults.
Why Do People Take Chromium?
Many people take chromium supplements to help regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote weight loss. Some research suggests that chromium supplements may be effective for these purposes, although more research is needed to fully understand the effects of the mineral.
How Much Chromium Should You Take?
The optimal dosage of chromium varies depending on a number of factors, including age, gender, and individual health status. Generally, doses of up to 1,000 mcg per day are considered safe for most adults. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
What are the Risks of Taking Chromium?
While chromium supplements are generally considered safe, there are some potential risks associated with their use. High doses of chromium may cause gastrointestinal upset, headaches, and other side effects. In addition, some studies have suggested that long-term use of high doses of chromium may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
Can You Get Chromium Naturally from Foods?
Yes, it is possible to obtain chromium naturally from food. Some good dietary sources of chromium include broccoli, grape juice, whole-grain bread, and some types of meat. However, the amount of chromium in these foods can vary widely, and it may be difficult to obtain enough chromium through diet alone.
Chromium in Alternative Medicine
Chromium has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and some alternative medicine practitioners recommend chromium supplements for a variety of purposes. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of chromium supplements for many of these purposes. Some alternative medicine practitioners may recommend chromium for conditions such as depression, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of chromium for these uses.
Potential Benefits of Chromium
Research suggests that chromium supplements may offer a number of potential benefits. Some studies have found that chromium supplements can improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. In addition, some research suggests that chromium supplements may help to reduce cravings for sweet and salty foods, which could help with weight loss efforts. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of chromium supplements.
Chromium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin action in the body. While it can be found naturally in some foods, many people turn to supplements to ensure they are getting enough of this important nutrient. Chromium supplements may offer a number of potential benefits, but it is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen. As with any supplement, it is important to follow dosage instructions carefully and to be aware of the potential risks associated with their use.
In summary, chromium is an important nutrient that plays a crucial role in many physiological functions in the body. While it can be found naturally in some foods, many people may choose to supplement with chromium to ensure they are meeting their daily requirements. However, as with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting to take it. With proper use, chromium supplements may offer a variety of potential benefits for people looking to support their overall health and wellness.
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