The human body requires several nutrients to ensure all organs function at their best. Chromium is one such substance, although it is not as well known as other elements such as say iron, calcium and phosphorus. If you have been hearing about chromium polynicotinate supplements but do not really think it matters to you, read on to find out why chromium can be important for you.
It Regulates Blood Sugar
Julie Chen, MD (Integrative Medicine) who practices in California explains on the Dr. Oz Show, “Chromium is actually a trace mineral that we find in foods like vegetables, meat, whole grains; it is actually very important for us to regulate blood sugar and balance the blood sugar from the foods we eat.”
One important fact that has emerged from all the ongoing research about the role of chromium in the body is that chromium plays a major role in deciding how we use insulin. Insulin is the hormone that makes it easier for cells to take up glucose from the blood and, thus, it helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. Chromium is believed to help the body use insulin in an effective manner and, thus, can contribute to normal blood sugar levels, especially in people who have diabetes type 1 or 2 or those who have pre-diabetes. Insufficient chromium can put people at a higher risk for weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.
It Helps Metabolize Cholesterol
Chromium polynicotinate or other forms of chromium also play a role in the breakdown of cholesterol that enters the body through food. This can be a valuable action in people with high bad cholesterol levels that is rich in low density lipoproteins; including chromium in the diet can help to keep such cholesterol levels low and stable. It has also been found useful in increasing good cholesterol levels (which is rich in high density lipoproteins), especially in people who use prescription medicines called beta blockers for a heart condition.
It May Help with Weight Loss
Some people suffer from insulin resistance in which there is enough insulin being secreted by the pancreas, but the body cannot use it. This condition of insulin resistance has also been linked to the absence of chromium. When the body cannot use insulin appropriately, it results in the accumulation of fat. This may also be one of the factors that lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome in women. Chromium polynicotinate supplements help to make up for the dietary deficiency of chromium and, thus, prevent such fat accumulation. So, they are said to help with weight loss, although the supplement alone cannot be a substitute for regular exercise and healthy eating.
Although chromium is present in foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, onions, oysters, cereals with bran and whole grains, the processing tends to destroy this element. Renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz says, “We estimate that up to 90% of you may not be getting enough chromium or absorbing it into your body.” This means you need to ensure you get the necessary amount of chromium by using chromium polynicotinate supplements.