Fast Facts on Chromium – A Metabolic Miracle Worker
Chromium is an essential trace mineral involved in normal carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism.
Modern Western diets are often low in chromium and negatively affect chromium absorption, thereby contributing to deficiency as they are high in refined sugars.
In fact Sucrose, the sugar molecule commonly known as table sugar has been found to directly increase chromium excretion within hours of ingestion!
Chromium has long been researched for its role in helping to improve blood sugar regulation and lowering blood lipids as well as for possible benefits in body composition and weight management.
Here are some fast facts on Chromium including a run down of the latest clinical findings on its health benefits!
Chromium occurs in two main forms: Trivalent (chromium 3+) which haw low toxicity, is biologically active and is found in food and nutritional supplements, and Hexavalent (chromium 6+), a toxic form that results from industrial pollution.
The role of trivalent chromium in human nutrition was first reported in 1977 when the severe diabetic symptoms of a female patient on total parenteral nutrition were alleviated by supplemental chromium.
Chromium deficiency signs include: elevated blood glucose, insulin, cholesterol and/or triglycerides, decreased HDL cholesterol levels, mood swings and low energy.
Research indicates that requirements for chromium are increased by stress, pregnancy, diabetes, high dietary sugar intake, strenuous exercise, infection and physical trauma.
Chromium works by: aiding the transport of glucose into cells. It appears to improve blood sugar regulation by enhancing the action of insulin and increasing the number of insulin receptors on cells to improve insulin sensitivity.
Chromium has also been found to reduce the concentration of certain inflammatory markers such as CRP, TNF-alpha and IL-6, and increases vitamin C and adiponectin levels to reduce insulin resistance – a key factor involved in metabolic syndrome.
Chromium may assist in the management of: metabolic conditions associated with impaired glucose and lipid metabolism.
These include insulin resistance, type II diabetes, gestational diabetes, hyper/hypo-glycaemia, obesity, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cognitive function impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and stress.
Chromium could also benefit: Atypical depression and mood disorders by improving insulin sensitivity which is often disrupted due to high cortisol levels, and by increasing neurotransmitter availability and release.
Interestingly, it is possible that Chromium could also help with maintaining healthy bone mineral density as poor insulin control may increase calcium excretion and disrupt bone mineralisation processes.
Track your health progress or find out if you are at risk of metabolic syndrome by having a Cardiovascular Profile done through Emed.
This is a comprehensive testing profile that combines metabolic blood markers with genetic profiling to determine exactly where your health is at, and the most effective way to improve your wellbeing with the help of a qualified Emed Practitioner.
- Chromium Information Page
- Diabetes – The New Health Epidemic
- Insulin Resistance – Why You Can't Lose Weight
Cefalu, W.T. et al. 2004, Role of Chromium in Human Health and in Diabetes, Diabetes Care
Hua, Y. et al. 2012, Molecular Mechanisms of Chromium in Alleviating Insulin Resistance, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Vol. 23(4)