Health benefits of Chromium
Carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar:
Chromium plays important role in metabolism of carbohydrate and fat. It works with insulin in metabolism of sugar. It monitors blood sugar levels, and helps stabilize blood sugar. It seems to increase the effectiveness of insulin, thereby facilitating transport of glucose into cells to be used as energy and to turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. It helps to take protein where it is needed and aids in growth. Research is being carried out on impact of Chromium and chromium supplements on people with type 2 diabetes.
Chromium and Weight management
Insulin not only helps control blood sugar levels, but also helps regulate the metabolism of fats. Research suggests that chromium supplements may cause weight loss, reduce fat and increase muscle mass. The researchers found that exercise training combined with chromium supplementation resulted in significant weight loss. Chromium supplements are promoted to be helpful in building muscle and burning fat, however no scientific evidence is available yet.
Chromium has been found beneficial in prevention and treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. Studies have found that low chromium levels may cause high cholesterol and may increase your risk for coronary artery disease. Chromium supplements control total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise “good” (HDL).
Chromium deficiency is found to increase risk of glaucoma. It is also claimed that chromium supplements can control symptoms of epilepsy. In one of the studies, chromium is found to slow down loss of calcium from body. This has been useful to prevent bone loss in women after menopause.
Chromium deficiency is relatively common Type II diabetic patients. Chromium deficiency may also lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and heart disease. Symptoms of chromium deficiency include impaired glucose tolerance, high blood fat and cholesterol levels and diabetes-like symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, thirst, hunger and frequent urination.
Is chromium safe?
Taken in right quantity, dietary chromium doesn’t hurt body. However excessive use of chromium supplements can lead to stomach problems and low blood sugar or damage liver, kidneys, and nerves. People working in metallurgy and electroplating industry are prone ot occupational hazards from chromium and can cause kidney damage, cancer of skin conditions like eczema and other inflammations of the skin. People suffering from diabetics should take Chromium supplements only after consulting doctor. Chromium supplements may reduce insulin requirement and may cause blood sugar to drop.
Resources: Chromium in human nutrition