Chromium is a trace mineral that assists with burning carbohydrates and fat. It helps provide energy producing blood sugar to the body’s cells and may increase sensitivity to insulin. This reaction curbs cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. Because of the role Chromium plays in the body’s metabolism of food, chromium is commonly added to natural weight-loss products.
As many as 90% of American diets are low in chromium, but few people are deficient in this important mineral. The elderly, people who indulge in strenuous exercise, those who consume excessive amounts of sugary foods, and pregnant women are most likely to be deficient in chromium. Low chromium levels can increase blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), cholesterol levels, and increase the risk for a number of conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Claims have been made that because chromium may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, it might also help to prevent type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin or cannot properly use the insulin that their bodies produce. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. As a result, glucose or sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Today, scientists believe that chromium helps insulin bring glucose from the blood into the cells for energy.
This would be a significant benefit considering the growing statistics of people with this disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a supportive yet highly qualified statement regarding this, stating a relationship between chromium and insulin resistance may be present but is still “uncertain.”
You can find Chromium naturally in yeast, mushrooms, prunes, and broccoli. Good chromium food sources include whole grain breads and cereals, lean meats, cheeses, and some spices, such as black pepper and thyme. Brewer’ s yeast is also rich in chromium.
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