Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Chromium is a mineral that you need for the proper utilization of calories. You need it to properly store fats, carbohydrates, and protein and to metabolize them and change them into energy. It’s a very important mineral, but it’s a trace element, meaning you only need a small amount. You can get chromium in food. It’s found in whole grains, seafood, meat, and vegetables like broccoli and potatoes. You do get some in your diet, but if you lack it, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes.†
Benefits of Chromium
In human studies, chromium, along with biotin, improves blood sugar control in people with Type 2 diabetes. A very large population study indicated that those who did not consume enough of this mineral had a higher risk of diabetes, and those who consumed chromium supplements had a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which is a current plague on humanity, there’s so many people with Type 2 diabetes.†
Research in humans shows that when you have sufficient chromium, it’s easier to keep fat off, get rid of fat, and retain muscle. These studies started in the 1990s. If you have enough and you’re dieting, you lose fat but you maintain your muscle mass. In fact, you can even gain additional muscle. A lot of people who diet actually lose muscle as well as fat, so this is an important point. If you lose muscle, you’re more likely to fall and hurt yourself and more likely to become frail.†
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A study published in the journal Current Therapeutic Research in 1996 looked at 154 people who were trying to lose fat. The researchers gave the subjects a nutritional drink with protein and carbohydrate over a 72-day period. The drink had either a placebo or either 200mcg or 400mcg of chromium added to it. They found that either strength, in conjunction with the protein drink, improved muscle and cut fat.†
Tune into the full podcast episode to hear more studies.
What type of chromium is best?
The form to use is chromium picolinate. A study from the Ohio State University Department of Nutrition looked at the pharmacokinetics of chromium. Pharmacokinetics refers to how something is absorbed, where it’s deposited in the body, how it’s excreted, when you get the highest blood level, and how long it lasts in the body. The researchers found that chloride was absorbed the least efficiently. Polynicotinate was right after it. Way ahead, absorbed three times better, was picolinate.†
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If you’re getting a multivitamin, make sure it has some chromium, and make sure it’s chromium picolinate. That’s the one you absorb the best because chromium is very poorly absorbed.†
For more information, tune into the full podcast episode.
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