Chromium is a trace element that is found in our bodies. Essential to our health, chromium is difficult to absorb. American diets are very low in chromium due to all of the processed foods that are eaten. Foods that are rich in chromium are whole grain breads, lean meats, cheeses and cereals, oatmeal and brewer’s yeast.
People that have low chromium levels usually eat diets that are high in processed foods. People who exercise strenuously can also have low chromium levels, as well as pregnant women and those who have a diet high in simple sugars.
A low chromium level can be harmful to your body. When you eat foods, insulin changes the foods that you eat into energy. Insulin is a hormone your body produces. Chromium plays an integral role in how insulin helps your body regulate sugar levels. Your sugar levels go up or down, depending on the types of foods you eat. If your sugar levels get too high, you can have a stroke, even death. If your sugar levels drop too low, you can pass out, slip into a coma, or even die. Chromium, in assisting insulin, is very important to your health. Low chromium levels can increase your blood glucose levels. It can also increase triglyceride cholesterol levels, putting you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Chromium picolinate is a supplement made from a combination of chromium and picolinic acid. As well as increasing chromium levels in our bodies, chromium picolinate has additional health benefits for those that take their body’s health seriously.
Chromium Picolinate Reduces Glucose Levels in the Blood
Studies are showing that chromium picolinate may reduce glucose levels in the blood, as well as the amount of insulin needed. HbAic values are the laboratory tests to measure long-term control of blood sugar levels. When glucose levels are measured, participants “fast”, refrain from eating. The studies show that those taking chromium picolinate had better fasting levels. Fasting is usually a time when normal sugar levels drop.
A maintained glucose level, during a time of fast, is very beneficial for people who watch their diet, such as athletes, bodybuilders, and those wanting to lose weight. Frequently, complaints of headaches, irritability, shakiness and sweating are not due to lowered food intake but rather low blood sugar levels. Chromium picolinate, in maintaining glucose levels even while fasting, allows those who are losing weight to focus on proper nutrition, rather than submitting to the body’s signals to eat.
Chromium picolinate is also a healthy addition for those that suffer from cholesterolemia, high cholesterol levels. A research study of those who took chromium along with beta-blockers found results that indicated chromium raised HDL levels. HDL cholesterol is “good” cholesterol.
Chromium picolinate may play its most important role in the vital interplay between food and our bodies. A recent study looked at satiation amounts, full feelings after eating. Chromium picolinate led to reduced cravings for fat.