Chromium is a mineral that is naturally present in the nature and can be found in foods like brewer’s yeast, nuts, whole grains, cheese, broccoli. Its primary function is to regulate blood sugar and glucose levels.
Usually, supplementation with chromium is recommended if you suffer from insulin sensitivity, high LDL (bad cholesterol), primary phase of diabetes type 2, gain weight, and related conditions.
There are multiple types of chromium supplements, such as chromium chloride, chromium nicotinate, chromium picolinate, high-chromium yeast, and chromium citrate. Yet the most popular and available one is chromium picolinate.
But how exactly supplementing with this mineral is going to benefit our health and body? Let’s see some of it’s most visible effects!
Improved insulin sensitivity
According to American Diabetes Association, supplementation with chromium has positive effects on improving insulin resistance condition. This health issue is basically when our body cells don’t react to insulin.
In short, insulin is the hormone that helps our cells to make use of the sugar we digest and convert it to energy. When the cells become resistant to this hormone, our body starts producing very high levels of insulin in order to “compensate” for the lack of sensitivity. At the same time, as sugar is not transformed into energy, it is being stored as fat cells, which makes us to significantly gain weight in a short period of time.
Insulin resistance is thought of as a primary phase of diabetes type 2 and is related to blood sugar issues.
Chromium picolinate improves the body cells’ sensitivity to insulin and stimulates them to use the sugar in the blood for energy. As a result, the mineral helps to prevent diabetes type 2, keep our blood sugar levels intact, and make efficient use of the sugar we intake.
Improved cholesterol levels
According to a study published in the Western Journal of Medicine, chromium improves the balance between the cholesterol levels in the body.
The research showed that the supplementation with this mineral for 42 days showed impressive changes in both HDL and LDL.
HDL and LDL together are called cholesterol. HDL is the “good cholesterol,” which is related to lowering the risk of artery buildup, inflammation, blood clots, high blood pressure, and strokes.
On the contrary, LDL is the so-called “bad cholesterol,” which is the cause for the formation of buildup in the arteries and is directly responsible for high blood pressure conditions and all of their related risks.
Chromium picolinate significantly increases the “good cholesterol” in the blood, which neutralized the “bad” one. By achieving such balance, the mineral reduces the risks for heart and stroke-related diseases in the long run.
Recused cravings for sugar and snacks
Another medical study from the same health organization shows that supplementation with chromium picolinate has a positive effect on people with binge eating disorder. For 8 weeks, the people who took chromium (compared to the research participants on placebo), reduced their food intake, fat cravings, and hunger levels.
As a result, this group of people experienced a positive effect on their BMI (body mass index), as they lost weight due to calorie-cut.
After this research, chromium picolinate is administratively proven to reduce the cravings of binge-eaters and have a positive impact on their weight.
As we saw, the positive effects of chromium as a supplement are essential. But don’t forget to take it in the right dosage, and only when needed! Otherwise, you risk to misbalance your nutrition levels.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I do not aim to give any medical advice. The information presented in this article is based on scientific research and personal experience and aims to give information about the topic.