Chromium as a metal is known but not as a supplement or a health drug. The reports of chromium and improvement in sugar control started with a chinese publication and since then more reports of its benefits have been studied. I see a lot of patients asking my opinion on this supplement and so far the best summary I’ve read was recently published in the January 2007 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch.
- Chromium and cholesterol. With such scattered scientific information, it’s too early to recommend chromium supplements for cholesterol. But there may be an exception to that rule when it comes to low HDL (good) cholesterol. The best ways to boost HDL levels are lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet. But if those don’t help, chromium may be worth a try. Some clinical trials have reported a benefit.
- Chromium and heart disease. A new study reports a link between chromium levels and heart attack risk: the lower the levels, the higher the risk. The association of low chromium and heart attacks was unrelated to diabetes or diet.
- Chromium and diabetes. Chromium influences insulin action and glucose metabolism. However, studies have yielded conflicting results. The American Diabetes Association states that “at present, benefit from chromium supplements has not been conclusively demonstrated.” It’s an invitation for more scientific study.
- Chromium and weight loss. Despite the popularity of chromium picolinate as a diet aid, scientists agree that chromium supplements are not effective in producing sustained weight loss.
Sources of natural dietary chromium includes: whole grains, nuts, broccoli, and green beans. All are healthy and worth munching while benefiting your good cholesterol, improve your heart disease risk and hopefully lower the blood sugar level.
Be Informed…Eat Right!
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