Chromium

Chromium, an essential mineral, is found in trace amounts in grains.  Chromium's job in the body is to regulate insulin.  There are many dubious health claims about the effects of supplemental chromium and its connection to improving blood sugar levels, increased HDL cholesterol (aka 'good' cholesterol), weight loss, and so on.  However, research has shown little to no evidence that supplemental chromium by those with normal or elevated levels is effective.  There have been many studies on supplemental chromium's effect on fasting glucose levels in individuals with type II diabetes, but the results where minor.  There is no reason for individuals with diabetes to attempt to "self-treat" with chromium supplements.  If you have diabetes, you should speak with your doctor before taking any supplements, as the results may not always be what you read online.  Your doctor will be more familiar with your specific circumstances, and you may be able to avoid unnecessary costs by speaking with them first.

So then what's the point of taking supplements that include chromium?  Well, obviously you'd want to take chromium supplements if you have a deficiency, however true chromium deficiencies are rare.  By "true chromium deficiency," we mean that a person's levels are so low that you experience clinical symptoms such as poor blood glucose control, worsened levels of weak bones and bone loss, low energy, fatigue, poor skin health, risk for high cholesterol and heart complications, low concentration and poor memory, or worsened eye health.  If you have these symptoms, your doctor can order a simple blood test to tell you if chromium deficiency is the cause.

What's far more common are sub-clinical levels of chromium.  These lower levels of chromium won't have the pronounced effects of a true deficiency, but they can cause problems in the metabolism of blood sugar, and produce effects like anxiety, agitation, or fatigue.  Sub-clinical levels are of particular concern when dieting, as grains are often the first things people cut back on when trying to lose weight.  This can have the opposite of the desired effect.  When you "cut carbs" hoping to lower your blood sugar levels, you are also cutting your primary source of chromium, which is a nutrient that regulates your blood sugar levels.  If that sounds like a problem, then now you understand the point of supplemental chromium!

Aside from dieters, those who eat mostly refined grains are also at risk.  Whole grains are the best source of dietary chromium, and restricting your diet to white bread and sugars can elevate your blood sugar with empty carbs, and deprive you of the chromium you need to regulate your blood pressure.

These Products Contain Chromium

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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