Chromium is crucial for the molecule known as Glucose Tolerance Factor or GTF. It is an insulin cofactor needed by the body in blood sugar regulation and is essential for efficient metabolism. GTF enhanced by Chromium can be taken as a form of dietary supplement to aid in the maintenance of blood sugar regulation and an appetite that is more stable.
So what makes chelated Chromium amino acid so potent? The answer is because of its connection to the more bioavailable and natural form of glycine, a form of amino acid. Chromium that is chelated to glycine provides it with optimal absorption and assimilation, which allows the minerals to be utilized and transported better within the body. Chelation of minerals occurs when the said minerals are bound using chemical processes to an amino acid or to another molecule to come up with a more complex molecule.
These amino acids then get bound to minerals where their transportation is assisted through the walls of the intestines. As such, for Chromium Amino Acid Chelate, the ideal chelator is commonly glycine, an amino acid that is more efficiently absorbed by the body. With that out of the way, we can say that the main component of such supplements is Chromium.
Chromium: The Low Down on this Mineral
Chromium is an essential trace mineral, which can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and improve the metabolism of lipids, carbs, and proteins. It is an element classified as metallic that individuals need in limited quantities. There are varying details as to how much chromium is needed by the human body and what it can do for the human body especially since the available studies produced conflicting data. There are studies conducted recently that show how supplements with chromium can be beneficial for overall health but at the end of the day, experts recommend that individuals obtain their chromium from their diet and not from supplements.
In a nutshell, listed below are some quick details regarding Chromium:
- Chromium is needed by humans in small quantities and is a trace mineral
- Some of the best sources of chromium include brewer’s yeast, liver, and broccoli
- Supplements containing Chromium can help in better glucose control, weight loss, and enhancement of muscle mass.
- Supplements are similar to medicines and those who are thinking of including supplements in their daily routine should do so while being careful. This is because the best source of healthy minerals and nutrients is still the individual’s diet.
Best Sources of Chromium and Daily Requirements
Some of the most chromium-rich food items known to man include brewer’s yeast, liver, and broccoli. Other sources of chromium include meats, seafood, whole grains, and potatoes. Listed below are some details of the chromium-rich food items:
- Red wine: 1 and 13 mcg for every five ounces
- Green beans: 2 mcg for every one cup
- Mashed potatoes: 3 mcg for every one cup
- English Muffins: 4 mcg for each whole muffin
- Turkey Breast: 2 mcg for every 3 ounces
- Grape Juice: 8 mcg for every cup
- Broccoli: 22 mcg for every cup
A majority of dairy products do not have significant amounts of chromium content.
What happens during Chromium Deficiency?
The exact benefits of chromium to the human body are still not completely clear and human deficiencies for the said mineral are few and far between. Chromium deficiency can potentially lead to some health issues or concerns. These can include:
- Reduced efficiency in the management of cholesterol resulting in increased risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis.
- Glucose tolerance is impaired which can result in blood sugar control that is reduced for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes.
It must be noted though that evidence is still limited as to the health benefits of chromium or the harms a chromium deficiency can cause.
Chromium Amino Acid Chelate Side Effects and Health Benefits
Supplements containing chromium have been popular since it was pushed in the market for those who want weight loss or muscle gain. There are some athletes and bodybuilders who take it to increase energy and enhance performance. There are earlier studies that showed how supplementing with chromium can help in promoting weight loss and contribute to muscle mass that is enhanced. However, the said earlier studies remain inconclusive but the more recent ones have noted that muscle growth is improved and that fat mass is reduced as a whole.
On top of all this, the total lost weight was not seen as adequate in terms of making supplementation with chromium even worth it. There are also some individuals who experienced chromium amino acid chelate side effects which included hives, headaches, vertigo, and watery stool. Research conducted way back was also not able to establish if the said mineral supplement can indeed benefit individuals suffering from glucose tolerance impairment and those suffering from diabetes. New studies, though, show that these supplements may be able to improve body composition, promote weight loss, reduce blood lipid levels, and help in diabetes management.
A study conducted on diabetic patients had the said individuals take either 200 mcg of Chromium, 400 mcg of chromium, or a placebo. Those who were given the 400 dosages saw significant improvements in the function of the endothelial cells, oxidative stress biomarkers, and lipid profile, which suggests that the chromium supplement can help provide benefits for patients suffering from diabetes.
In 2017, published findings noted that chromium, when mixed in with statins, can also help in reducing mice symptoms of atherosclerosis. As such, it can be theorized that chromium can also be beneficial in terms of improved cardiovascular health particularly for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
As with most supplements, people should still seek the advice of a healthcare professional before starting with any form of supplements to receive the appropriate and specific treatment.