President of Swanson Health Products®
"Many Americans are not getting enough chromium in their diets, which could be impacting their health in surprising ways."
Aptly, chromium has been referred to as the key that unlocks a cell to let sugar pass through the membrane and into the cell for nourishment and energy. Can you see the promising and hopeful health implications in that statement? Chromium may be the overlooked means to more energy and fewer food cravings. Chromium does a lot for the quality of your life. Yet just a miniscule amount of this mineral is required to work its wonders. The recommended daily intake is only 120 mcg, which is a mere 12/100 of a milligram! You might think that each of us would easily get that amount in our daily diets, but the truth is we don’t. Not even close. To get that amount we must pay stricter attention to our diets by including more broccoli, dried beans and whole grains or consider a chromium supplement to make up the shortage.
Chromium is primarily identified with blood sugar health and putting a stop to persistent cravings for sugary foods and carbohydrates in general. The goal is to get sugar out of the blood stream after eating it and into the cells where it can do your body some good. Simply put, here’s how the process works. You ingest sugar and it’s processed and absorbed through the intestinal walls into the bloodstream. In a healthy body, insulin sensitizes receptors on cells so that the sugar flowing in your bloodstream is attracted and picked up by the receptor sites, and then it is drawn into the cell to be used for energy. Chromium increases the sensitivity of these receptor sites to insulin so the cells take in the optimal amount of blood sugar. It’s easy to see why this process can minimize sugar cravings. When the cells are satisfied with the amount of sugar they receive, your brain stops craving it.
It sure could. If a person is overweight because they are constantly craving cookies and ice cream, they may find that chromium stops the desire enough for them to gain control of the situation. In fact, an 8-week Cornell University study showed that it curbed appetite and cravings by 50% in people who took a daily 600-mcg chromium picolinate supplement. Still other studies demonstrate that it helps to maintain cholesterol levels already in the healthy range since the body requires chromium to metabolize fat. If you’re cutting back on calories, the body doesn’t really care if it makes up the deficit in calories required to operate your body each day by burning fat or muscle. However, when you get adequate amounts of chromium, it appears that muscle is spared and the body tends to burn up more fat.
Absolutely. But here are a few more questions to consider: Are you eating enough chromium-rich foods to get 120 mcg (the RDI) of this mineral per day? And if you are, has the food been tested for guaranteed levels of chromium? How do you know that the food item was grown in mineral-rich soil? I only ask these questions because today’s food, especially fruits and vegetables, may not be grown in mineral-rich soil. Supplements help to fill the void in this nutritional gap.
GTF is an acronym that stands for Glucose Tolerance Factor. GTF is actually a biologically active molecule of chromium, niacin and glutathione (a peptide of 3 amino acids), and it is the form of chromium that the body prefers. Many attempts to synthesize natural GTF have been made, but they are not accepted as well by the body as the chromium found naturally in brewer’s yeast and other foods. However, if you take a high bioavailability chromium supplement, your body will combine it with niacin and glutathione to form GTF, so it can be efficiently used.
Studies show these forms are equally bioavailable. Chromium picolinate is a good choice because the chelating agent picolinic acid is an excellent mineral transporter in the body. The body also effectively recognizes chromium bound to nicotinic acid (polynicotinate), so it’s your choice between these two forms. For maximum absorption, take it with vitamin C—an orange or a few strawberries is sufficient.
View All Chromium Supplements