Tags: chromium | supplement | diabetes | weight loss | insulin

Role of Chromium Supplements in Diabetes and Weight Loss

Monday, 23 December 2013 12:01 AM

Chromium is a trace element that is beneficial in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in our body. Our body needs a very small amount of chromium. It helps people with diabetes—whether it is insulin dependent, non-insulin dependent, pre–diabetes, or steroid-induced diabetes. Some other health benefits of chromium include health support for polycystic ovarian syndrome, hyperlipidemia, depression, hypertriglyceridemia, and weight loss.
Multivitamin tablets or capsules available in the market contain chromium as an essential mineral. Chromium picolinate is a compound found effective in Type 2 diabetes. Other chromium supplements available in the market are chromium nicotinate and chromium citrate.

Chromium can lower the fasting blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and help insulin work well. This mineral is effective for weight loss as well. Interestingly, some studies prove that chromium is effective for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, i.e., Type 1 diabetes. It means that it has the potential to generate insulin in the body.
For weight loss and for increasing good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins), chromium is quite effective as well. While chromium may reduce weight slowly, the procedure is safe. Weight gain in diabetic patients caused due to intake of oral hypoglycemic drugs is also well managed by chromium. In other forms of obesity like nutritional, hormonal, and genetic types, the role of chromium supplements needs more research.
Generally, it is safe to take chromium in adults even for longer periods. Minor side effects reported by some subjects taking chromium supplements include headache, dizziness, skin irritation, mood changes, and impaired judgments. Higher doses and prolonged use is generally not recommended for people with liver or kidney disorders and pregnant and lactating mothers. People allergic to chromium are also not advised to consume chromium supplements for the fear of swelling, irritation, and redness of the skin.
Diabetic patients taking insulin therapy have to be careful about their blood sugar levels while supplementing it with chromium supplements. Often, chromium deficiency is recovered by taking moderate amounts of whole grains, milk and its derivatives, fresh fruits, and green vegetables. As far as the role of chromium in weight loss is concerned, more research is needed to probe the subject in all aspects.

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There has been a lot of debate over the role of chromium supplements in diabetes and weight loss recently. Preliminaries studies prove that chromium is effective in diabetes; however, more work is needed to come to a conclusion about its effect in weight loss.
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Monday, 23 December 2013 12:01 AM
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