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What is Chromium: Do I Need It?

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Chromium provides energy to your brain and muscles. Find out how much of this mineral your body needs and the benefits of chromium. Discover more here.

 You may not know much about chromium, an essential trace mineral, but it’s an important substance that helps metabolize the protein, carbs, and fat, and provides energy to the muscles and brain, as well as supporting the vital functioning of the body, a bit like selenium.

Chromium doesn’t naturally occur in the body, so it must be added through diet. Here’s more about chromium, including what chromium is, how much you need, benefits of chromium, and the best foods for obtaining this vital nutrient.Chromium

What is Chromium?

Chromium is widely used as a supplement to enhance the effects of insulin, and lower the bodies glucose levels. Although, chromium has two forms, and one of those can be toxic. The mineral of chromium is known as chromium 3+ or trivalent.

What does Chromium do?

Chromium is used to prevent diabetes, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, and is also said to improve the blood lipid levels. Chromium is also suitable for people that are chromium deficient, however this is extremely uncommon and is only seen in people with poor diet and nutrition.

There have also been cases where people have taken chromium to build muscle or to trigger weight loss. There have been some studies that show its effectiveness, but others that don’t.

Insulin is the hormone that is important in signalling the body to bring blood sugar into the cells of the body, a very important job, and if we have low levels of the hormone we may start to feel fatigued. People that suffer from diabetes, have problems with the body’s normal processes of insulin, many studies have indicated that taking a chromium supplement has had a positive effect on improving blood sugar.

Reduces hunger and cravings

Most people that have tried many avenues for weight loss, and to keep it off, will know how it feels to get those griping hunger pangs. There have been studies that suggest chromium reduces food intake and cravings. But always seek advice from a trusted medical professional before taking any supplements.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions that correlate together. These increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Due to chromium’s ability to activate insulin, there has been studies to show its positive use in metabolic syndrome.

Food sources of ChromiumChromium Foods

There are a few foods that contain Chromium, as mentioned before, chromium is a mineral in foods, and we get our intake from the foods we choose to eat day-to-day. If you don’t think your diet contains enough chromium, it may be a good idea to try to incorporate more of these foods in your diet:

  • Broccoli
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Orange juice
  • Apples
  • Green beans

How much chromium should I take?

There is no real recommended intake for chromium. So, the list below is a suggested intake depending in age:

  • Women aged 19-50: 25 mcg/day
  • Women aged 51 and over: 20mcg/day
  • Men aged 19-50: 35 mcg/day
  • Men aged 51 and over: 30 mcg/day.

It is possible to consume more chromium than that. It is suggested that 1,000 mcg are the recommended limit of chromium intake, as a high intake of chromium could worsen insulin sensitivity.

Symptoms of a Chromium deficiency

A chromium deficiency is very rare. However, a diet that is full of refined carbohydrates and sugar is the corporate of low chromium levels. A chromium deficiency causes impaired glucose tolerance in people. The symptoms of a chromium deficiency are:

  • Weight loss
  • Raised blood cholesterol
  • High blood glucose levels.

The major benefit of chromium is its role it has to play in regulating blood glucose levels by boosting the activity of insulin. If you think you may be suffering from a lack of chromium and are showing any of the symptoms or medical conditions suggested in this article, then seek advice from a trusted health professional.Chromium supplements

Now that you’ve entered the wonderful world of chromium and what it does for you, why not read our article on 9 vitamins to boost your immune system, next?

 

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288177#:~:text=Chromium%20is%20an%20essential%20trace,people%20need%20very%20small%20quantities.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/chromium-benefits-4588421

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/chromium-picolinate

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