Nonessential Micronutrient Link to chromium deficiency
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A healthy metabolism
A properly working metabolism is essential for active, healthy living and peak performance. The foods we eat — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats — are the raw materials for the energy we need to stay active. When we eat, our bodies quickly convert carbohydrates into a simple sugar called glucose. This sugar is the essential energy source for all our cells. Once glucose enters a cell, it's instantly converted into a "power-packed" source of stored energy.
But, when this metabolic process slows down or becomes less efficient, or our cells become resistant to insulin, a myriad of complications can begin to develop, such as diabetes, obesity, hypoglycemia, and various heart conditions, to name only a few. If too many sugars are left "floating" in our bloodstreams, along with insulin, our bodies respond with hormone irregularly, fatigue, anxiety (symptoms of hypoglycemia), and even increased fat storage. For these reasons, it's imperative to avoid a chromium deficiency.
The mere fact that the U.S. leads the world in low chromium levels clearly indicates our inadequate diet — in part due to highly refined foods, saturated fats, and the depleted soil for growing — results in low levels of chromium. In addition, strenuous exercise also appears to deplete chromium reserves in our bodies.
The good news is numerous studies demonstrate that non-insulin-dependant diabetics and/or hypoglycemics who supplement with chromium may see significant reductions in fasting glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance, and lowered overall insulin levels. These effects appear to be the result of chromium's potential to enhance insulin's ability to lower blood sugar levels.
How it works
In addition, proper control of blood sugar may help prevent hardening of the arteries and the detriments associated with this condition. Some studies have even demonstrated chromium's potential ability to increase HDL (the good cholesterol), while lowering overall cholesterol levels.
Chromium's somewhat anecdotal reputation to help alter bodyfat and increase lean mass leaves many skeptics and controversy. Two original studies have in fact confirmed chomium's potential to have significant effects on body composition, while other studies that followed showed no effect whatsoever on either loss of bodyfat or gains of lean mass. But, this doesn't mean it doesn't work altogether — it's merely a case of "when the scientists can't agree."
Body processes and basically
life itself rely on our ability to supply energy to our cells. Chromium
appears to help us perform this complex process, called metabolism, much
Daily amounts of chromium range between 50 and 200 mcg, depending on the needs of the user.
- Recommended use, as suggested by most nutritional doctors, is 200 mcg. This is the amount usually found in any high-quality multivitamin/mineral formula and is a generally safe and adequate daily dietary intake.
To obtain the full benefits, chromium should be taken with meals (such as at breakfast and/or dinner), especially with carbohydrate-containing foods.
Synergists of Chromium
Niacin, glycine, cysteine, glutamic acid, and Vitamin C may enhance the absorption of chromium.
Safety of Chromium
Chromium should not be used by insulin-dependent diabetics without the care of a physician.
Toxicity of Chromium
Since absorption rates of chromium are so low, toxicity is very uncommon. Although chromium is not necessarily toxic, it can cause adverse reactions at levels above 600 mcg per day in extremely rare cases.