Chromium is an essential mineral that is not made by the body and must be obtained from your diet. There are very low concentrations in the human body. It is an essential trace metal involved in regulating blood sugar. Chromium increases the role of insulin in the body. It is believed that chromium helps insulin bring glucose from the blood into the cells and converts them into energy. It is also believed that as many as 85% of American’s diets are low in chromium due to the fact that they are not taking in much foods that contain chromium because the foods that have chromium have such low amounts in them. Studies show among these people, vegetarians have very low chromium in their diet because most vegetarians take in a huge amount of fruits and vegetables and those foods have no chromium.
When a person’s chromium levels are low, this can increase the person’s triglycerides, which is a type of fat in the body. Cholesterol levels can raise which increases the chances of getting diabetes and heart disease. When a person has diabetes or high cholesterol, it may be helpful for the person to take chromium supplements or try to eat more chromium enriched foods.
Supplementation of chromium needs to always be taken under supervision of a physician. Diet enriched foods with chromium are organ meats, oatmeal, asparagus (only rare vegetable with chromium), whole grains and cereals. Strength training is another big reason people may use chromium supplementation. Chromium can now be found in some of the popular sports drinks and even though there is very little evidence shown, many people take chromium when strength training for the fact they think it’s going to change the composition or tone of their body, build more muscle mass and increase strength levels.
The available forms of chromium include chromium nicotinate, chromium picolinate and chromium chloride. These forms are available in tablet and capsule form and can be found in most health food stores. Although chromium found in the foods listed above are considered safe, going over the recommended dose can cause side effects including itching and flushing of the skin. When using supplementation of chromium or any supplement of that matter, the way supplements are manufactured may not be to the standard FDA (food and drug administration). Because of this fact, how well the product works or any side effects of the supplement may be different among brands. One brand that you buy in a health food store may be different from one you buy in a grocery store. These supplements need to be researched and checked out before purchasing them .It is really essential for your health and well-being.