Trace Mineral Chromium Helps With More Than Blood Sugar Levels

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I once read somewhere that only one in ten people has a diet that includes sufficient amounts of chromium. This is important because it plays a role in the regulation of insulin, the hormone that helps maintain blood sugar levels. Chromium also plays a role in the synthesis of fats, cholesterol and protein. If your diet isn’t high in foods like brewer’s yeast, meat, brown rice and whole grains, you may want to look at supplementing with 200mcg of chromium.

Here are some other reasons that chromium is an important mineral:

Type 2 Diabetes: Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes have lower blood levels of chromium than those without the disease. Supplemental chromium has been shown to have beneficial effects (increased insulin binding, increased insulin receptor number, and increased insulin receptor phosphorylation), without any documented side effects on people with varying degrees of glucose intolerance ranging from mild glucose intolerance to overt type 2 diabetes.

Hypoglycemia: In a placebo-controlled crossover trial it was found that 3 months of supplementation with chromium (200 mcg/day) was effective in alleviating the symptoms of hypoglycemia while significantly raising the minimum glucose levels 2-4 hours after a glucose challenge.

Mood: A study on antidepressant pharmacotherapy for depression in 5 patients showed that chromium polynicotinate supplementation led to remission of depressive symptoms and concluded that preliminary observations suggest that chromium may help with depression.

Cholesterol: There appears to be evidence that chromium supplementation can lower serum cholesterol, but it may require a longer time or higher doses of chromium with diabetic patients.

Bone Health: A placebo-controlled trial of 27 postmenopausal found that chromium might be effective in preserving bone mineral density.

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February 2010