Is Chromium Good For You?

January 16, 2007

2922756499.jpgChromium 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.

My advise for now is…2393097542.jpggo for the natural sources of chromium… stay away from the supplements as we dont know yet the exact dose that will provide you of the necessary benefits.

Be Informed…Eat Right!

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10 Responses to “Is Chromium Good For You?”

  1. belinda Says:

    I have been taking Chromium supplements for the past 6 months as it advertises to enhance blood sugar levels & weight loss support. Do you think I am just wasting my money & should stop taking it? Your professional advice is much appreciated, thank you & more power.

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    In a summary of all 15 trials done on chromium and diabetes published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition… “Chromium supplementation had no effect on glucose or insulin concentrations in the non-diabetic subjects nor did it reduce these levels in subjects with diabetes” That one study conducted in China which started it all which showed benefit (in which 155 diabetics were given either 200 or 1,000 mcg/day of chromium or a placebo) were done in chromium-deficient population.

    Overall, therefore until further studies prove it to be beneficial…the value of chromium supplements for diabetics is inconclusive and controversial at most.

  3. maxim Says:

    Thanks for this info doc. I kno of people who are into it and I could use your advise to enlighten them on this matter.

  4. Allen Williams Says:

    I was wondering if the amounts of chromium (120 mcg) and copper (2 mg) found in one a day multivitamins could possibly cause side effects such as increased dreaming, changes in sleep patterns and headaches? I have read where chromium and sleeping issues have beem linked as well as headaches to copper but don’t understand wether it occures when you get to much or not enough. I beleive I understood it to occure with high levels but again am not sure. Is it even possible for the ammounts I specified to be enough to cause these types of side effects in someone? Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Doc Gerry Says:

      In the first place…please check my website post re Multivitamins. Taking them has not been shown to be protective of anything so why bother?

  5. Kevin Says:

    Hey Doc, I’ve been thinking of taking a bit of chromium for when I work out. I don’t trust creatine because of supposed health risks but I do take protein. Do you know if there are any long term health issues when taking chromium?

  6. mary Says:

    hi doc, i just started taken chromium today cause i heard its very good for depression is this true?and will it help?is there any side effects from taken them? thank you.

    • I have been taking chromium over ten years
      and no problems.MY Dr tell me some one of
      my age have Diabetes, Cholesterol, High blood pressure.I dont have any at age 69.
      I give it all to Chromium Picolinate.My
      Glucose is blood pressure is 128/70
      This does not work for everybody,but worth
      the try.Every thing stays the same with me.

    • Doc Gerry Says:

      Hi Mary.. up to now chromium is a supplement and therefore nO approved therapuetic claim

  7. Eddie Says:

    Have a question….i am taking chromiun daily and would like to add an additional mineral that will adjacent, serves same purpose but will not affect chromium usage. I want take another mineral that will boost my metabolism. what would you recommend

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