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Chromium




  1. I read where chromium picolinate is recommended for people with hypoglycemia. Can a person vary on the amount taken daily? Answer
  2. How effective and safe are Chromium Picolinate and Fenfluramine as appetite suppressants? Answer
  3. What do you know about Chromium Picolinate? Answer
  4. I've seen Chromium Picolinate advertised recently as a "metabolism boosting" diet supplement. Is there any merit to this claim? Answer
  5. Is chromium recommended for exercise, insulin resistance, sugar consumption? What are natural sources of chromium? Answer


I read where chromium picolinate is recommended for people with hypoglycemia. Can a person vary on the amount taken daily? (i.e. take more when in a bad mood)

Also, is there a certain amount of sugar able to be taken that won't affect one's emotional state? Also, is there a recommended diet? Thank you in advance.

First of all, sweets do affect a person's mood by making a person feel drowsy. How drowsy depends on the amount of carbohydrate and fat eaten in one meal. Chocolate can elevate mood by increasing endorphins in the brain. Secondly, chromium as a mineral functions as a glucose tolerance factor, but the question is, what amount is appropriate as a supplement and can it be toxic?

There is no effect by chromium supplements on people who don't have diabetes. If a person is deficient in chromium, they may experience glucose intolerance which is resolved by supplementing with chromium. However taking chromium supplements by a person with type 2 diabetes who is not deficient in chromium will not improve glucose tolerance. The FDA concluded that chromium picolinate intake and insulin resistance is highly uncertain when deciding on supplement label health claims for type 2 diabetes. According to the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements there is insufficient research evidence to support the use of chromium picolinate supplements for type 2 diabetes.

Chromium is a micronutrient meaning we don't need a lot to meet our AI (Adequate Intake) and any inadequate intake of chromium can be resolved with a healthy eating plan. It is relatively easy to get safe and adequate amounts of chromium (11 to 45 micrograms per day) by eating a variety of foods like broccoli, grape juice, whole grains, potatoes, orange juice, and turkey.

Methods to assess chromium amounts in the body are lacking, but chromium is found in hair and blood (serum). However, hair analysis is not a valid method to analyze the nutritional status of chromium or any other nutrient.

People who take chromium picolinate supplements may suffer health problems rather than improved health. Although claims of weight loss, lowered cholesterol and reversal of diabetes are unfounded, researchers have shown that chromium supplements damaged cell chromosomes which are the blueprints for a cell's function and reproduction. It is generally thought that cancer starts with a change to the genetic material in a cell causing it to grow and reproduce without restraint.


How effective and safe are Chromium Picolinate and Fenfluramine as appetite suppressants?

Chromium Picolinate is sold over the counter as a nutritional supplement. Chromium works with insulin in assisting cells to take in glucose and release energy. Chromium Picolinate has not been shown to cause weight loss and its ability to improve insulin effectiveness has been questioned.

Fenfluramine was withdrawn from the US market in 1997 due to causing problems like heart valve replacement and lung hypertension. Fenfluramine is the chemical name of a drug that increase the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the "feel good me" drug that the brain produces. Tryptophan (an amino acid found in complete proteins) is a precursor of serotonin. Other amino acids, specifically leucine, isoleucine and valine, compete with tryptophan for transport to the brain. In addition, carbohydrates increase the serotonin levels in the brain. Exercise increases these neurotransmitters in the brain.


What do you know about Chromium Picolinate?

Chromium Picolinate is sold over the counter as a nutritional supplement. Chromium works with insulin in assisting cells to take in glucose and release energy. When chromium is lacking, the effectiveness of insulin is lessened and glucose tolerance is impaired. Deficiency is rare except in people who must rely completely on intravenous fluids (hyperalimentation) as their sole source of nutrition long term.

There had been scientific references that suggested that supplementing with chromium picolinate would enhance insulin utilization. That has not been proven true in current research except in one Chinese study where the improvement was probably due to testing a population who were chromium deficient.

Chromium can be measured in hair and blood. But laboratory methods to determine chromium levels are difficult. This is why a chromium requirement has not been determined. There is no Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for chromium. Toxicity of chromium is low according to the Institute of Medicine so they have not set an Tolerable Upper Level Intake (UL).


I've seen Chromium Picolinate advertised recently as a "metabolism boosting" diet supplement. Is there any merit to this claim?

No. Initially there was some speculation that since chromium is a component of the hormone insulin that additional chromium would enhance insulin's ability to break down glucose. Research has not supported this theory.


Is there any relationship between strenuous exercise, chromium and insulin resistance?

Would you consider a chromium supplement with reduction in sugar consumption?

What are natural sources of chromium?

Does magnesium also factor into this?

I exercise treadmill/Stairmaster 6 to 7 days a week and blood sugar recently was up to 160 - 190 ranges. Lower carbohydrate / sugar has reduced this level. Thanks.

Exercise decreases insulin resistance if the exercise reduces body fat. Higher body fat contributes to increased insulin resistance and that is why people who are overweight have a higher risk of diabetes. Your exercise program sounds good, but I am wondering if you are exercising aerobically. If your heart rate is too high so you cannot carry on a conversation while on the treadmill, you may be mobilizing stored glycogen into your blood stream as glucose to fuel anaerobic exercise. Also, you should talk to an exercise physiologist about adding some weight training exercises.

Chromium is involved in the production of insulin and the release of glucose's energy from cells. Taking a chromium supplement will not increase the production of insulin unless your eating plan is deficient in chromium. Recent research does not support taking a chromium supplement for people with diabetes or pre-diabetic insulin resistance.

Food sources of chromium are broccoli, grape juice, whole grains, potatoes, beef, orange juice, turkey, red wine, apples, banana, and green beans. Chromium is found in a lot of healthy foods.

Research has shown that people who eat foods high in simple sugars (more than 35% of calories) are more likely to have a chromium deficiency due to increased loss of chromium in urine. This may be due to the fact that foods in a high sugar displace healthy foods high in chromium. Reducing the amount of simple sugar is always an improvement to a healthy eating plan.

Magnesium is involved with calcium and phosphorus in depositing these minerals in bones and teeth (50% of magnesium is in bone), the transmission of nerve impulses like keeping normal heart rhythm, keeping a healthy immune system, building of protein structures, enzymes and muscle contraction. Yes magnesium helps regulate blood glucose levels and is involved in energy metabolism.

You may want to talk to a registered dietitian about a diabetic nutrition therapy as a blood sugar of 160 to 190 is more than a slight elevation. Fasting blood glucose should be 70 to 105 milligrams per deciliter. It is normal for blood glucose to double within 2 hours after a meal, but your blood sugar should be less than 140 milligrams per deciliter 4 hours after a meal. When was your blood glucose taken? After a meal or fasting in the morning?






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