Chromium is also known as glucose tolerance factor. It is an essential micronutrient linked to the regulation of many processes in the human body including blood glucose balance.
I have been using chromium supplements in my protocols for regulating blood glucose levels and reducing binge eating with a great success. In this article we are going to get the facts on chromium and discover how it affects glucose metabolism and overall health.
Get the facts on chromium
Chromium is an essential micronutrient, which means it is needed daily by the body but in only tiny amounts. Chromium in the form of chromium chloride can be found in whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, tomato, chicken and seafood. Another great source is brewer’s yeast.
Chromium is very poorly absorbed from the intestinal tract to the circulation. Only about 0.5-2.5% of the amount consumed is absorbed. Vitamin C and the B vitamin niacin enhance its absorption.
Diets high in simple sugars can increase chromium excretion and contribute to chromium deficiency. Ironically, in such cases chromium is much more needed, as it has a crucial role in glucose metabolism.
Women need 25 mcg and men 35 mcg of chromium per day.
Glucose Tolerance Factor
Chromium helps to regulate glucose homeostasis by activating insulin receptors thereby increasing insulin sensitivity.
Chromium Food Sources
Chromium is found in common food sources such as: whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms and green beans. Chromium may also come from brewer’s yeast.
Symptoms of chromium deficiency
- Poor blood glucose control
- Elevated circulating insulin leading to inflammation
- Low energy levels, fatigue
- Unregulated appetite, uncontrolled food cravings
- Mood fluctuations, anxiety
- Atherosclerosis leading to increased risk of heart disease
- Impaired growth.
- Yin, Raynold V., and Olivia J. Phung. “Effect of chromium supplementation on glycated hemoglobin and fasting plasma glucose in patients with diabetes mellitus.” Nutrition journal 14, no. 1 (2015): 14.
- Paiva, Ana N., Josivan G. de Lima, Anna CQ de Medeiros, Heverton AO Figueiredo, Raiana L. de Andrade, Marcela AG Ururahy, Adriana A. Rezende, José Brandão-Neto, and Maria das G. Almeida. “Beneficial effects of oral chromium picolinate supplementation on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical study.” Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 32 (2015): 66-72.
- Oral chromium picolinate impedes hyperglycemia-induced atherosclerosis and inhibits proatherogenic protein TSP-1 expression in STZ-induced type 1 diabetic ApoE-/- mice. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 45279 (2017)