Chromium is one of the essential trace minerals that your body needs. This mineral enhances metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity. It enhances how your body metabolizes carbs, lipids, and protein. Chromium is called a “trace mineral” because your body only needs it in small quantities. So people choose to get this small quantity from the supplement, chromium amino acid nicotinate. But this is not the only supplemental form of chromium available.
Other forms include chromium picolinate, chromium citrate, high-chromium yeast, and chromium chloride. All of these forms are effective, except for chromium chloride. This form is quite effective too but not as effective as the other forms. It has a poor rate of absorption and bioavailability.
Research is still ongoing on the exact quantity of chromium the body needs daily. And experts are still trying to figure out the full range of chromium’s benefits. But we do know it has some confirmed benefits.
Let us mention that not all forms of naturally-occurring chromium are good for your health. There is a form called trivalent chromium (o chromium 3+). Then, there is another called hexavalent chromium (or chromium 6+).
You can find trivalent chromium in foods, as well as in supplements. This is the form that has health benefits. Hexavalent chromium, on the other hand, is toxic to the body. You can find it mostly in industrial pollution.
As you read on, we will talk about why trivalent chromium is an essential mineral for health. Below are some of the confirmed benefits of chromium.
Chromium Amino Acid Nicotinate is Essential
1. Blood sugar regulation
Your body requires chromium to use glucose properly for energy. Experts call this “glucose tolerance”. Without the hormone insulin, and the mineral chromium, you would have glucose intolerance. This means that the glucose in your blood would damage your cells.
This is why the eye retinas of people who have diabetes get. Their blood vessels also damage fir the same reason. Chromium is indeed an essential mineral that you must not lack.
To put this in the proper perspective, you can control your blood sugar by staying away from refined carbs, such as flour products and sugar. You can also use insulin injections. But you can only achieve total control by receiving proper amounts of chromium 3+.
Aside from Chromium 3+, a few other vital minerals also play vital roles in blood sugar regulation. These include manganese, zinc, and magnesium.
2. Cardiovascular Health
The word cardiovascular might seem complex for some people. But it simply refers to the heart and blood vessel. Now, experts say that chromium deficiency would increase your risk of getting cardiovascular diseases.
Chromium helps regulate the LDL to HDL ratio in your blood. The ratio becomes high when there is chromium deficiency. This, in turn, increases the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
HDL transports excess cholesterol in the blood to your liver for elimination. However, LDL mobilizes cholesterol from the liver and sends it into the body’s cells. That’s why people call HDL cholesterol the good cholesterol and call LDL the bad cholesterol.
So then, if your chromium levels are high, you would have more HDL and less LDL. This means there will be fewer fat deposits in your heart and blood vessels.
As such, you wouldn’t have to bother about atherosclerosis or arterial plaques. You would have lower risks for stroke and heart attack. But if chromium levels are low, your risks for cardiovascular diseases become greater.
Experts discovered something interesting about most deaths resulting from heart disease. They found that in most of the cases, the person had little to no chromium at all in the aorta. The aorta is the major blood vessel that carries blood to the heart. They say aortic chromium is a good indicator of cardiovascular health.
Special Benefits of Chromium 3+ Supplements
- It works with serotonin to help reduce sugar cravings, as well as appetite. This makes weight loss and management easier.
- Chromium 3+ plays a very vital role in the activation of many hormones and metabolic enzymes. For instance, it helps activate the enzyme responsible for clearing off fats from your bloodstream.
- It helps improve the utilization of amino acids. For instance, it boosts the utilization of arginine and lysine in the brain.
- Chromium 3+ plays a vital role in blood transport and protein production, among many other vital body functions. It is also vital for carb metabolism.
- The involvement of chromium in fat metabolism makes it great for heart health. Its role in heart protein production helps boost longevity.
- Your body needs chromium 3+ for the proper development of muscles, as well as for energy production.
- Wound healing and tissue growth both rely on chromium.
- Chromium 3+ supports thyroid functions. It helps maintain the basal metabolic rate your body needs to burn calories effectively.
- It is vital for fighting stress
- Chromium 3+ also helps to boost immune functions.
A Few Cautions
As good as supplements are, experts say it is still better to get your chromium from diet instead of supplements. They counsel that we should use nutritional supplements with caution if we will use them at all. We should prioritize getting our nutrients from healthful food.
We must realize that the specific nutrients are only a part of healthy eating for good health. No nutrients can alone deliver good health. That’s why nutrient supplements cannot provide the same benefits as whole food. In whole food, the nutrient works together with other nutrients to deliver health benefits.
More so, if you are eating a balanced diet, you are not likely to have chromium deficiency. It occurs very rarely.
What’s more, you cannot get an overdose of chromium from food. However, people have gotten chromium overdose from supplements. It usually causes stomach problems in mild cases. In severe cases, it can cause liver or kidney damage.
Chromium amino acid nicotinate is quite essential and helpful. However, whole food is a better chromium source than the supplement. Before you start using chromium nicotinate, you should discuss it with your physician.