Chromium

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Chromium is a mineral known as an "essential trace element," which means you don't need a lot of chromium to experience the health benefits. Chromium is found in both food and some supplements, so getting enough should be easy. Not only that, there are many advantages from getting your daily amount of chromium.

Different Forms of Chromium

There are two major types of chromium:

  • Trivalent Chromium: Found in food, trivalent chromium (chromium 3+) is biologically active, meaning it's safe to consume.
  • Hexavalent Chromium: This form is a toxic variant of chromium. Hexavalent chromium (chromium 6+) is a result of industrial pollution, meaning it isn't safe to consume.

Otherwise, it is an essential trace element, but whenever "chromium" is mentioned in terms of human health, assume trivalent chromium is what's being inferred.

In supplementation, chromium actually comes in the form of chromium picolinate. This type has been researched as beneficial to your overall health, as the next section shows.

Benefits

Chromium packs a lot of punch with a really small dose (which is revealed in the next section). Here are the benefits:

  • Improves blood sugar1
  • Lowers hunger/cravings2
  • Weight loss management3
  • Reduces insulin resistance4
  • Could potentially reduce symptoms of depression4

These are fantastic things to have from a health and wellbeing standpoint, so it's pivotal to get your recommended daily allowance of chromium.

How to Use

Chromium usually comes in the form of a pill or powder when supplemented. Take with your first meal of the day. You should only have to supplement once daily.

Chromium is typically included in many popular supplements and isn't normally bought by itself. It's a regular addition to weight management supplements, due to its suppression of cravings, most notably sweets and other carbohydrates that can be stored easily as fat. Another way chromium is supplemented is through daily multivitamins. In either case, it should provide your daily need for chromium.

Daily Recommended Allowance

According to the Dietary Reference Intakes (developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences), males get anywhere between 25-35 mcg of chromium daily, while females acquire for 20-25. "Mcg" stands for microgram; one microgram equates to 1/1000 of a milligram, meaning you don't need very much. (In fact, the most you'd ever need as a human would be if you're a lactating female, at which point you'd only require 44-45mcg per day.)

These values are, in fact, not recommended daily allowances (RDAs) due to the lack of sufficient research of chromium. The ranges above are actually Adequate Intakes (AIs), which translates to, "a level that healthy people typically consume." There is also an "estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake" for chromium: a range of 50-200mcg.

For supplementation purposes, keep this last range of values in mind; when looking for a decent product, look for 50-200mcg per dose.

Symptoms of Chromium Deficiency

There are only a handful of crucial symptoms for those with a chromium deficiency:

  • Craving sweets
  • Increased risk of depression
  • Decreased ability for your body to metabolize fats and glucose
  • Inhibition of protein production
  • Additional production of cholesterol and triglycerides

That last symptom is particularly bad because heightened cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood result in higher fat storage in the body as well as potential heart health issues.

Who Is at Risk of a Deficiency

Chromium deficiency is quite rare; however, there are a select few who are at risk, including elderly people and those with Type 2 diabetes. Sadly, these claims are not substantiated by research and can only be speculative at best. Still, if you notice any of the above symptoms, it would be best to test chromium levels with your medical professional.

Symptoms of Chromium Toxicity

Another potentially harmful condition is chromium toxicity, or where you take in too much chromium. Thankfully, with the intestinal absorption rate being so low, this affliction is also quite uncommon. There is no maximum daily intake level established by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, so it's tough to know whether or not there are any symptoms of taking too much chromium. 

At the very least, it would be wasteful to attempt to consume more and more chromium; while there aren't any adverse effects of this to date, there aren't any positive effects of doing this either.

Foods That Contain Chromium

Apparently, quantifying chromium amounts in food sources is tricky, based off of the fact that agricultural and livestock production quality is highly varied. With different soils, practices and pesticides, chromium levels are altered from one piece of food to the other, even if they're the same food.

Nevertheless, there are certain foods that should normally have a decent amount of chromium:

  • Lean Beef
  • Oysters
  • Eggs
  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Prunes
  • Orange/ Grape Juice
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Basil

Again, this list doesn't include portion amounts or chromium levels per serving because there isn't a heavily-researched, set level for these foods. You shouldn't worry about this, though; you'll be able to ingest plenty of chromium by picking a handful of these foods and consuming them as part of your daily diet.

Chromium Supplementation With Sensolin, ACV+Prebiotics and Digestive Refresh

There are always certain instances where diet is not going to give you everything you need. There's no need to worry if your diet does not provide the necessary amount of chromium. Oral supplements are available for those who want to make sure they are consuming enough in their daily diet.

Sensolin, AVC+Prebitotics and Digestive Refresh are powerful, all-natural supplements that contains clinically-proven dosages of berberine, chromium, cinnamon bark extract and other herbs and nutrients. Sensolin has been specially engineered to regulate blood sugar levels, and Digestive Refresh is designed to restore balance to your digestive ecosystem quickly and efficiently. Learn more about Sensolin, AVC+Prebitotics and Digestive Refresh, as well as UMZU's line of natural supplements by visiting our online showroom.

With crazy, busy schedules it is easy to be tempted by fast food, processed food, and an abundance of poor eating choices. With obesity and bad eating habits on the rise, it's more important now than ever to pay attention to what you put in your body. Your health is one of the most important investments you can make. After all, you will need it for years to come! Take care to make sure you are receiving adequate amounts of both macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as engaging in healthy exercise. Begin your journey to a healthier you today!

Citations and Sources

1.
Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, Yuwanakorn A. Systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of chromium supplementation in diabetes. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014;39(3):292-306. [PubMed]
2.
Anton S, Morrison C, Cefalu W, et al. Effects of chromium picolinate on food intake and satiety. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2008;10(5):405-412. [PubMed]
3.
Goodland N. Some views on the Salmon structure. Nurs Mirror Midwives J. 1971;133(5):9-10. [PubMed]
4.
Brownley K, Holle A, Hamer R, Via M, Bulik C. A Double-blind, Randomized Pilot Trial of Chromium Picolinate for Binge Eating Disorder: Results of the Binge Eating and Chromium (BEACh) Study. J Psychosom Res. 2013;75(1):36-42. [PMC]