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Chromium: Health Benefits, Deficiency, and Side Effects

in All , Health Care , Nutrition

Chromium: Health Benefits, Deficiency, And Side Effects

Chromium is a type of mineral present in various environmental settings and also in food items. They exist in two basic forms trivalent (chromium 3+) and hexavalent (chromium 6+).

The hexavalent form of chromium is present as a contaminant in industrial pollution and is toxic, while the trivalent form is mostly present in foods.

Chromium deficiency

Chromium deficiency is becoming an increasing problem now. A variety of people with different conditions like being a diabetic or being pregnant, some athletes and the elderly may be at risk of developing chromium deficiency, which can further cause issues like protein synthesis inhibition, abnormal insulin function, and impaired energy release and may also occur in type 2 diabetes and heart disease patients.

A strong relationship has been observed through various studies related to high levels of insulin, decreased chromium amounts, and increased blood cholesterol levels.

Foods high in Chromium

Chromium rich foods and their benefits

Chromium is usually attained reasonably from the diet by many people. Foods rich in chromium are:

  • Poultry like beef
  • Dairy products, including milk
  • Whole grain products
  • Fruits like bananas, apples, and grape juice
  • Vegetables like potatoes, broccoli, and green beans

Health Benefits of Chromium

1.    Type 2 Diabetes

Different studies have concluded that blood sugar and triglycerides status in patients with type 2 diabetes lower a great deal due to the consumption of chromium supplements.

A review of 25 studies showed that taking almost 200 micrograms (mcg) of chromium picolinate improves glycemic levels without any side effects when placed in comparison with the placebo. 

2. Weight Loss

No promising evidence has come to light regarding the effects of chromium on weight loss, but the concept arose because maintained blood sugar results in reduced cravings.

No proof has been found that a decrease in body fat or an increase in lean muscle occurs due to this. 

3. Endothelial function

Patients taking chromium up to 400 mcg saw changes in lipid profile, endothelial function, and biomarkers of oxidative stress, observing that patients with type 2 diabetes can benefit from chromium picolinate.

4. Heart health

Chromium is known to act favorably in dealing with metabolic disturbances, insulin issues, and cardiovascular disease.

Much data have emerged regarding chromium being able to stimulate insulin signaling, and thus insulin sensitivity can be improved with the help of chromium.

There is growing evidence that chromium may facilitate insulin signaling, and chromium supplementation therefore may improve systemic insulin sensitivity.

Side Effects of Chromium

Not many side effects are noted for chromium. However, a few side effects were reported by using chromium, like impaired sleep, mood swings, irregular heartbeats, headaches, and allergic reactions.

Chromium can cause increased chances of getting liver or kidney problems. Patients dealing with liver or kidney issues should avoid taking chromium or should consult the doctor first.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Normal doses of chromium are not considered dangerous even when they are secreted in milk. This nutrient is important to be added to baby formula. Before using any supplements or medicine, ask the doctor to guide you, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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