All About Chromium
There are a lot of minerals that our body needs in trace amounts to function properly and one such mineral is chromium. Let us discuss more about chromium.
Function of chromium
Chromium enhances the function of insulin which is a hormone that is essential for storage and metabolism of carbs, fat and protein in our body. Chromium also has a direct role to play in the metabolism of the three macronutrients carbs, fat and protein. More research is needed to be done to find out what all roles this mineral plays in the body.
Foods that contain chromium
Good sources of chromium are meat, whole grains, certain fruits, veggies and spices. Though you can get chromium from food, the problem is that the quantity is very small in most foods. Broccoli is a very good source with half a cup offering 11 mcg of chromium.
The adequate intake of chromium for adult males between 19 to 50 years is 35 mcg and for women it is 25 mcg. It tends to increase when a woman is pregnant or lactating.
How are levels of chromium affected in the body?
The body’s absorption of chromium from the intestines is less. In order to enhance the mineral’s absorption one has to consume vitamin C and vitamin B (niacin). The chromium absorbed by the body is stored in the liver, soft tissue, spleen and bone.
The chromium content in the body can get reduced under certain conditions. If a person’s diet is high in simple sugars. There can be an increase in the excretion of chromium in the urine. Other reasons of losing chromium can be infection, too much of exercise, pregnancy, lactation and stress.
Do some people need extra chromium?
It has been found that the elderly are more vulnerable to chromium depletion than young people. It cannot be said with surety because it is difficult to find the chromium status in the body. Research is being done to find out whether chromium supplementation can help in treating type 2 diabetes and glucose intolerance. Nothing solid has come through though.
Issues and controversies lurking around chromium
Active research is being done in order to find out the use of chromium in treating diabetes, lowering blood lipid levels and promote weight loss.
Type 2 diabetes
Several studies have been done but they have been inconclusive. Chromium supplementation has not shown any positive impact on glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes.
Studies in line of the effect of chromium supplementation on lipid metabolism have also not brought any path breaking results.
It is being claimed that chromium supplements can decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass. But these claims do not seem to be true as the studies done have not shown any significant benefits. The studies conducted are not satisfactory as they are conducted on a small no of people and that to for a short span of time. Moreover, they don’t seem to conclude anything positive. Sorry, chromium cannot help you lose weight at least as of now :P.
Chromium supplement is a widely used one. It is sold as a single ingredient or in combination formulas. The dosage ranges between 50 to 200 mcg. You should always consult a doctor before taking any kind of supplement and same warning goes for chromium supplement too. It is generally said that nutrients should basically come from foods. This is because nutrient dense foods contain a lot more than the vitamins and minerals that the supplements have to offer, namely dietary fibre. Make it a point to have a wide and varied diet.
Now do you know All About Chromium?
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