Chromium picolinate combines the essential mineral chromium and a chemical called picolinate. Here comes a little bit of the science background on it; if you have already glazed over at this point just skip and read on down:)
In order for Chromium to be absorbed in our body, it must first be de-energized from its supercharged Ion state. Researchers have found that picolinate is very effective in de-energizing chromium and therefore allowing it to be absorbed into the cells of the body. This is why a chromium picolinate compound is the best way to supplement your body with chromium.
If you suffer from uncontrollable sugar and sweet cravings and feel like you are never satisfied, this could be a wonder supplement for you. Not only does it work to decrease your cravings but it can also:
- Decrease body fat
- Increase muscle mass
- Improve insulin activity in diabetics
- Decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) levels while increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
The reason chromium is so important is that it has a significant effect on the insulin in your body. Insulin is a hormone that your body secretes after you eat. Insulin then sends glucose through your blood stream to the cells in your body. Glucose is the fuel that lets your body do all its necessary functions – such as burn fat and make muscle mass – pretty important functions to most of us. The problem is when you do not have enough chromium in your body – your insulin doe not work as efficiently as it should or could. This means that glucose is not being sent to the cells for energy – and instead it becomes fat. You end up with less energy and more fat build up if insulin is not performing properly.
The problem is that very few people get enough chromium in their normal diet. Chromium is found in such foods as brewer’s yeast, liver and kidney – but they are all gross…blachhh…and you would need to eat a large amount of these foods every day to get enough chromium in your diet.
For this reason almost everyone can stand to benefit from taking a chromium supplement. If you workout chromium can help convert fat into muscle mass. If your diet is high in sugary foods and foods rich in complex carbohydrates – you should definitely think about taking a chromium supplement. Consuming all those sugary foods can eventually lead to your fat cells becoming insulin resistant. Chromium can help prevent this situation.
If you are diabetic chromium can be very effective – but you should consult your doctor before taking chromium. The reason is that chromium will have a serious effect on your blood sugar levels and you will need to adjust your medications (insulin injections, etc) accordingly.
Studies have shown that 400 mcg per day is a good base level for most adults. If you are more active or have diabetes you may need more. If you are less active or over the age of 65 you may be able to get away with 200 mcg per day. Consult with a Holistic Nutritionist or Naturopath to determine this.
Any chromium or picolinate that is not used by the body is excreted in your urine. There is no excess build up in the body. Our bodies actually make picolinate every day. Each day on average we excrete 20 mg of picolinate. If you take one 400 mcg chromium picolinate tablet a day – you will only absorb about 3.5 mg of picolinate. This means that your body already produces about 6 times more picolinate a day than you would get from a 400 mcg chromium picolinate supplement. The only side effect you may notice is feeling light-headed or hypoglycemic more often. If this happens its more likely that you need to make some changes in what you are eating daily in conjunction with taking chromium.