The mineral chromium is one of the essential minerals that play a role in the body’s use of glucose or blood sugar. Chromium can be found in many foods such as brewer’s yeast, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables. People who don’t get enough chromium may develop diabetes or high cholesterol levels. But because chromium is a trace mineral (meaning very small amounts are needed), you won’t find it on food labels because it doesn’t require any special labeling requirements by law.
What is chromium?
Chromium is a trace mineral that plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Chromium is also required for normal insulin function. Chromium is one of the minerals that can be found in the soil, water, and foods you eat. Chromium is also used as a supplement to balance your diet and help your body function properly.
There are two forms of chromium: trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). Trivalent chromium is the kind found in food and the kind that we use as a supplement. Hexavalent chromium is toxic.
Supplementing with chromium can help the body maintain normal blood sugar levels already within the normal range, which may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
What are the sources of mineral chromium?
The primary sources of chromium in the diet are foods rich in chromium. These include:
- brewer’s yeast
- red meat
- whole grains, such as wheat and oats, which contain more chromium than white flour products.
- fruits and vegetables (especially broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach)
- Food sources of mineral chromium include beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, fish, and liver.
There are many sources of mineral chromium. The most common source is the mineral chromite, which contains about 30% chromium. Another common source is the soil fungus called “cinnamon fungus.” It has been found that this fungus contains a lot of chromium. Chromium can also be found in certain foods, such as potatoes, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.
How much should we take chromium?
The daily recommended intake of chromium is 50 to 200 micrograms, depending on your age and gender. However, this recommendation doesn’t mean you need to supplement with more than that amount. In fact, chromium supplementation isn’t required for most people.
The best way to figure out how much chromium you need is by checking your blood levels. The easiest way to do so is by having a simple lab test done at your doctor’s office or through a pathological Lab. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your levels are low and if they’re high enough that supplementation might be helpful for you.
What are chromium supplements?
Chromium supplementation is a form of mineral chromium that is easier to absorb than other forms. It is often used to treat diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but it can also be taken to treat other conditions.
Chromium supplements are available in different forms:
- Chromium chloride
- Chromium citrate
- Chromium nicotinate
- Chromium picolinate
- High-chromium yeast
Benefits of mineral chromium supplements
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It’s associated with obesity and insulin resistance, as well as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood). These four traits can be treated with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, but for some people that may not be enough. If you have metabolic syndrome your doctor might recommend supplements such as mineral chromium or omega-3 fatty acids to help control your symptoms.
Chromium helps to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates and fat, which reduces the number of calories consumed. This can help you lose weight. Chromium also helps control appetite by increasing levels of a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain that you’re full, helping you feel satisfied sooner. In addition, chromium helps control blood sugar levels and reduce insulin production in the body. Reducing insulin production can decrease how many calories are stored as fat in your body.
Chromium is a trace mineral that helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. For people with diabetes, this can be beneficial since it can help control blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that regulates how much glucose (sugar) enters your cells for energy or storage. Chromium also helps reduce insulin resistance, which means the body does not respond as well to insulin when it becomes resistant.
Dyslipidemia is a condition in which the levels of lipids in the blood are abnormal. Lipids include cholesterol and triglycerides, which can become elevated when you eat more than you need or when your body doesn’t use the nutrients it takes inefficiently. Elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Chromium is a mineral that may help lower these elevated levels by helping your body metabolize fats better so they don’t accumulate in your blood vessels as much.
Improvement of muscle mass
Chromium is an essential nutrient that is important to the body as it helps regulate blood sugar levels and improves muscle mass. It also supports healthy insulin function, which is essential for converting sugar into energy.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body process nutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates through the bloodstream. When there’s an excess of sugar in your bloodstream (a condition known as hyperglycemia), your pancreas releases insulin so that you can metabolize this extra sugar into energy or use it for growth.
When you have too little chromium in your diet—or have high blood glucose levels—this can lead to type 2 diabetes; however, taking a supplement containing chromium will help regulate your blood sugar level by improving how well insulin works in the body.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), chromium can help with your health. PCOS is a common endocrine disorder in women that causes irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. It’s also a leading cause of female infertility, yet many women don’t know they have PCOS until they’re trying to conceive or are already pregnant.
Chromium has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which may reduce symptoms associated with PCOS such as weight gain, acne, and hair loss. If you’re growing a baby but struggling with an unplanned pregnancy due to infertility issues related to this condition (or simply want some extra help making sure your body is at its best during pregnancy), taking chromium supplements might help.
Side effects of chromium
Side effects of chromium may include:
- Stomach pain or cramping.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness (fatigue).
- Skin rash or itching that can be severe with skin peeling on fingertips, palms, and soles of feet, fever, and sore throat.
The mineral chromium is an important mineral that is essential for the health of your brain and nervous system. It helps regulate your blood sugar levels, which in turn helps control your weight. If you think that you have chromium deficiency in your diet, then you should consider taking a chromium supplement to make sure you get all of the benefits it has to offer.