Should You Take A Chromium Supplement?

How Chromium May Help With Diabetes, Weight Loss, and More.

Do you find yourself sleepy during the day, even after a good night’s sleep?

Maybe you’re having problems controlling your anxiety and/or experiencing mood swings. If so, you may be suffering from chromium deficiency.

Though you need only trace amounts, this mineral is vital in digestion and transporting sugars to your cells for energy production. If you’re deficient, you may experience some of the symptoms above.

What is Chromium?

Chromium is a trace mineral mostly found in foods such as broccoli, eggs, whole grains, grape juice, nuts and even beer. Though we only need small amounts, people who eat high-sugar diets are in danger of being chromium deficient because the simple sugars increase secretion of the mineral through your urine.

What Does It Do?

Chromium helps in metabolizing carbohydrates, fat and protein. Sought after by dieters to help promote weight loss, the ideal supplemental dose is 200mcg. Some scientists believe that in higher doses it can help regulate blood sugar levels and aid in the fight against diabetes for those who have the disease. It’s also helpful in keeping your arteries clear of gunk so that you don’t acquire atherosclerosis, aka hardened arteries.

Scientific Support

There are numerous studies that back up the claim that supplemental chromium helps regulate your insulin levels as well as your blood sugar levels. There’s also some research that shows that the mineral can also help reduce your bad (LDL) cholesterol, and it may even help raise your good (HDL) cholesterol.

There’s also significant interest and money being funneled into determining whether or not chromium may be beneficial in actually TREATING insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The verdict is still out.

Research is also iffy on the weight loss properties but it’s logical that if chromium helps regulate your blood sugar, it also plays a role in weight control. Scientists are still actively studying this conundrum. Since it’s obviously necessary to your health and is readily secreted, it’s safe to supplement with up to 600mg per day. Just as with all other nutrients though, the best way to get chromium is through your diet.

There are reports of significant age-related decreases in the chromium concentrations in hair, sweat and blood which might suggest that older people are more vulnerable to chromium depletion than younger adults. This isn’t surprising considering the fact that our bodies do tend to become less efficient as we age.

The thing is, blood, urine, and hair levels don’t necessarily reflect body stores of chromium so it’s tough to determine if you’re getting enough. To make matters worse, no chromium-specific enzyme or other biochemical marker has been found to reliably assess a person’s chromium status. Since it’s nearly impossible to overdose on chromium, supplementing is a good idea, especially if you’re suffering from any of the symptoms above.

Risk of Interaction

Certain medications may interact with chromium, especially when taken on a regular basis. Before taking dietary supplements, check with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, especially if you take other prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Final Word

The bottom line is that there are several reasons to supplement with chromium to help with age-related conditions such as diabetes and atherosclerosis but no good reason NOT to. When used as a supplement, the most common form is chromium picolinate because of its easy digestibility. Click here to find the best deals on supplemental chromium.

If you’ve taken supplemental chromium or have suffered from chromium deficiency, please tell us about it in the comments section below.

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