Chromium, in particular, trivial chromium – is an essential trace element that some people use as a supplement. Perhaps most importantly, chromium produces a compound in the body that seems to increase the effects of insulin and lower glucose levels. However, there was a risk and its use is somewhat controversial.
Why do people take chromium?
Some studies have shown that chromium supplements may be helpful for patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (predisposition). There is good evidence that chromium can lower glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, although not all studies have shown any benefit.
It may be that chromium works better if someone has chromium deficiency which is usually seen when a person has low overall nutrition. Other studies have also shown that chromium may help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is associated with insulin resistance.
Chromium supplements have been studied for their effects on cholesterol, heart disease risk, psychiatric disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions. However, the results of the study have been contradictory or vague.
Some people use chromium supplements to build muscle or lose weight. Some chromium studies have shown these benefits, but others have not.
Requirements and Sources
Adequate amounts of chromium (AI) are 9 to 25 micrograms (mcg) per day for women and 25 to 35 mcg for men aged 9 years and older.
For infants and children, the proposed adoption is:
- Up to 6 months: 0.2 mcg per day
- 7 to 12 months: 5.5 mcg per day
- From 1 to 3 years: 11 mcg daily
- 4 to 8 years: 15 mcg per day
Foods high in Chromium
Some of the best sources of chromium are broccoli, liver, and brewer’s yeast. Potatoes, whole grains, seafood, and meat contain chromium.
The following are good sources:
- Broccoli: 1 cup contains 22 mcg
- Grape juice: 1 cup contains 8 mcg
- Turkey breasts: 3 ounces contains 2 mcg
- English Muffin: A whole wheat muffin contains 4 mcg
- Potatoes, mashed: 1 cup contains 3 mcg
- Green beans: 1 cup contains 2 mcg
- Red wine: 5 ounces contains between 1 and 13 mcg
Most dairy products are low in chromium.
It can improve blood sugar
In healthy people, the hormone insulin plays an important role in signaling the body to bring blood sugar into the body’s cells. In people with diabetes, there are problems with the body’s normal response to insulin.
Several studies have indicated that taking chromium supplements may improve blood sugar in people with diabetes. One study found that 200 μg/day of chromium was able to lower blood sugar and insulin within 16 weeks while improving the body’s response to insulin.
Other studies have shown that high blood sugar and low insulin sensitivity may respond better to their chromium supplements. Additionally, in a huge study of more than 62,000 adults, those who took chromium-containing dietary supplements were 27% less likely to develop diabetes.
However, other studies of chromium supplementation for three months or more did not show an improvement in blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, studies in obese adults without diabetes have shown that one thousand μg / day of chromium picolinate does not improve the body’s response to insulin.
In fact, a large study of 425 healthy people found that chromium supplements did not alter sugar or insulin levels. Overall, some of the benefits of taking these supplements have been found in people with diabetes, but not in every case.
It can reduce appetite and desire
Most people who have tried to lose weight and keep it off are familiar with the feeling of hunger and craving for solid foods. As a result, many are interested in foods, supplements orations that can help deal with these applications.
Several studies have examined whether chromium picolinate can be effective in this capacity. In an 8-week study, one thousand μg/day of chromium (in the form of chromium picolinate) reduced food intake, appetite, and habits in healthy overweight women.
The researchers said that the effects of chromium on the brain could create these effects. Other studies have examined individuals with dementia or depression, as these groups may potentially benefit the most from greed or appetite suppression.
In an 8-week study, 113 depressed individuals were recruited to receive 600,000/g/day of chromium in the form of chromium picolinate or a placebo. Researchers have found that chromium picolinate supplements decreased appetite and cravings compared to placebo.
Furthermore, a small study looked at the potential benefits of individuals suffering from the invisible-eating disorder. In particular, a dose of 60,000 to one thousand μg / day may reduce the concentration of dual-feeding episodes and the symptoms of depression.
Does it help you lose weight?
Because of the role of chromium in nutritional metabolism and its potential effects on eating behavior, several studies have examined whether it is an effective weight loss supplement.
A large analysis looked at 9 different studies, including 622 overweight or obese people, to get a complete picture of whether this mineral is effective for weight loss.
Chromium picolinate was used in doses of up to 1000 μg/day. Overall, this study found that chromium picolinate produced in very large weight or obese adults after 12 to 16 weeks of weight loss (2.4 lbs or 1.1 kg).
However, the researchers concluded that the effect of this amount of weight loss is questionable and the effectiveness of the supplement is still unclear.
Another in-depth analysis of available research on chromium and weight loss came to similar conclusions. After analyzing 11 different studies, the researchers found that they lost only 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) at 8 to 26 weeks with chromium supplementation.
Other studies in healthy adults combined with exercise show no effect of this supplement on body composition (body fat and dehydration).
What are the risks of taking chromium?
Chromium seems to have several side effects. Chromium has occasionally been reported to cause irregular heartbeats, sleep disturbances, headaches, mood swings, and allergic reactions.
Chromium can increase the risk of kidney or liver damage. If you have kidney or liver disease, do not take chromium without first talking to your doctor.
Since chromium can affect blood sugar levels, it is very important to use chromium only under the supervision of a treating doctor if one is taking diabetes medication like insulin.
Chromium may interact with antacids, acid reflux drugs, corticosteroids, beta-blockers, insulin, thyroid drugs, and NSAIDs. These interactions can lead to poor absorption of chromium or increase the effectiveness of other drugs.
Chromium supplements should not be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding women. For children, consult a doctor. Some experts suggest that one should not take more than 200 mcg/day without medical advice.
The Institute of Medicine has not set a tolerable high intake level (UL) because several serious side effects have been observed with high chromium intake.
What does chromium do for the body?
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. It is a metallic element that people need in very small quantities.
How much chromium should you take a day?
In the United States, the recommended dietary reference intake (DRI) of chromium is 35 μg/day for adult men and 25 μg/day for adult women.
Does chromium help with weight loss?
Chromium is an essential trace element and nutritional supplement that has garnered interest for use as a weight loss aid. Purported benefits of supplementation include increased lean body mass, decreased body fat, and greater resting energy expenditure.
When is the best time to take chromium?
Since chromium can interfere with sleep, it's a good idea to take it in the morning.