One of the ingredients of our serotonin nutraceutical is chromium. First, let’s discuss some aspects of chromium. This is a body mineral found in such foods as ham, beef, turkey, lettuce, bread apples and bananas. There has really no “RDA” (recommended daily allowance) for chromium intake but the “AI” (adequate intake) has been established as somewhere between 20-40 micrograms a day. Most chromium supplements provide between 200-500 micrograms a day
What roles do chromium have in the human body? Although science does not have a full understanding of the effects of chromium, it is felt to play a role in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It appears to have a positive impact on insulin secretion. Studies have looked at the impact of chromium on diabetes control and the results of these studies have varied in how much of an impact chromium provides.
There are a number of studies that support the use of chromium in weight control. The impact on weight seems to be produced via the enhanced metabolism of sugars and carbs that chromium produces. There are certainly no studies that demonstrate a major “weight loss” simply by taking high levels of chromium.
Another positive impact of chromium supplementation is a lowering of blood triglyceride levels. Once again, there have been conflicting studies on this but if all the studies are lumped together (a “metanalysis”) there is some lowering of triglycerides that can be attributed to chromium use.
There are really no major side effects attributed to recommended chromium supplementation. With very high/mega dosages, there can be liver, kidney and muscle problems. However, these will only occur if tremendous amounts of chromium are consumed.
The bottom line: Chromium can be a potential help for sugar and insulin metabolism as well as having potential beneficial impacts on triglycerides and weight control. However, by no means is chromium a “miracle” or “magic” mineral. We include this in the SP supplements because of these potential beneficial effects but as we all know, there is no mineral, vitamin or supplement that will produce “easy weight loss”. Controlling weight requires lots of diligent work and although supplements may provide some help, the “work” still need to be done.
And, good luck trying to find a song about chromium to end this entry. The best I can do: Paul Simon’s “KodaCHROME(ium)” Enjoy!