What is Chromium Picolinate?
Chromium picolinate combines the essential mineral chromium and a chemical
called picolinate. In order for Chromium (and other minerals) to be absorbed in
our body, it must first be de-energize from its supercharged Ion state. Researchers
have found that picolinate is very effective in de-energizing chromium and therefore
allowing it to be absorbed into the cells of the body. This is why a chromium picolinate
compound is the best way to supplement your body with chromium.
What does Chromium do for me?
Studies have shown that chromium can do the following:
- Decrease body fat
- Increase muscle mass
- Improve insulin activity in diabetics
- Decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) levels while increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
How does chromium do all those good things?
The reason chromium is so important is that it has a profound effect on the insulin
in your body. Insulin is a hormone that your body secretes after you eat. Insulin then
transports glucose through your blood stream to the cells in your body. Glucose is the fuel that
lets your body do all its necessary functions - such as burn fat and make muscle mass. The problem is when you do not have enough chromium
in your body - your insulin doe not work as effectively as possible. This means that glucose is not transported
to the cells for energy - and instead it becomes fat. You end up with less energy and more fat build up
if insulin is not performing properly.
The problem is that very few people get enough chromium in their normal diet. Chromium is found in such
foods as brewer's yeast, liver and kidney - and you would need to eat a large amount of these foods every day
to get enough chromium in your diet.
Can you tell me about some of the studies that have been done?
A new study in Current Therapy Research found the following:
122 men and women were randomly assigned to receive either 400 mcg of chromium daily or
a placebo. Calories consumed and physical activities were controled over both groups. After 3 months, it was found that the
group that took chromium lost significantly more weight and bodyfat than the placebo group - without any loss
of muscle. This led the researchers to say that a daily supplement of chromium "can lead to significant
improvements in body composition." (As reported in All Natural Muscular Development - 3/99 - pg. 31)
A study conducted at Bemidji State University in Minnesota found the following:
Male athletes were given either 200 mcg of chromium daily or a placebo. After six weeks,
the chromium group gained 44% more lean body mass, as opposed to only 7 percent in the placebo group.
Earl Mindell reports on another study in his Supplement Bible:
Sedentary overweight people who took chromium for 72 days lost an average
of 4.2 fat pounds and gained 1.4 pounds in lean muscle mass. These results were achieved without
cutting calories or exercising!
Who should take chromium supplements?
Chromium is an essential mineral that is hard to get from your standard diet. For this reason almost
everyone can stand to benefit from taking a chromium supplement. If you workout chromium can help
convert fat into muscle mass. If your diet is high in sugary foods and
foods rich in complex carbohydrates - you should definitely think about taking a chromium supplement. Consuming
all those sugary foods can eventually lead to your fat cells becoming insulin resistant. Chromium can help
prevent this situation.
If you are diabetic chromium can be very effective - but you should consult your doctor before taking
chromium. The reason is that chromium will have a serious effect on your blood sugar levels and you
will need to adjust your medications (insulin injections, etc) accordingly.
How much chromium should I take?
Studies have shown that 400 mcg per day is a good base level for most adults. If you are more active or have
diabeties you may need more. If you are less active or over the age of 65 you may be able to get away with
200 mcg per day.
Is chromium picolinate safe?
Yes. There have been many studies that have shown that chromium picolinate is safe. Any chromium or picolinate
that is not used by the body is excreted in your urine. There is no excess build up in the body. In fact
our body makes picolinate every day. Each day on average we excrete 20 mg of picolinate. If you take one
400 mcg chromium picolinate tablet a day - you will only absorb about 3.5 mg of picolinate. This means
that your body already produces about 6 times more picolinate a day than you would get from a 400 mcg chromium
Are there any side effects to supplementing with chromium picolinate?
Usually not. If you are very sensitive to the levels of blood sugar in your body you may get dizzy when
first taking the supplement. This is probably a sign that you should consult a doctor to determine if you
have a blood sugar problem such as diabeties or hypoglycemia.
Are Chromium Picolinate and Vanadyl Sulfate the same things?
No. Vanadyl Sulfate works by trying to do the same thing that insulin does. The idea is that if insulin
is so important why not just take a compound that can do the same things as insulin. While there is some
research to show that Vanadyl Sulfate does a good job of mimicking insulin, it has a dangerous side effect.
If you feed your body something that does the job of insulin - over time the body might stop producing its
own supply of insulin.
Chromium Picolinate just makes the insulin in your body work better.
Why do we recommend Optimum Nutrition Chromium Picolinate?
Optimum Nutrition Chromium Picolinate is a very high quality and pure product. In addition,
it is reasonably priced.