Chromium – Review the Latest Research

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What Is Chromium?

Chromium, specifically trivalent chromium, is a vital trace element many individuals take to supplement their diet. Chromium creates a compound within the body that appears to boost your insulin's effects and lower glucose levels. However, it is not without risk, and its use as a supplement is controversial.

Chromium Benefits

A few studies have proven that chromium supplements can aid people suffering from the type 2 form of diabetes as well as insulin resistance. This illness makes your body respond poorly to the natural hormone insulin. Evidence from science suggests that chromium may lower sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity, but there aren't all studies that have proven benefits. Chromium may perform better for those deficient in chromium, typically only when you eat poorly.

Studies have also shown that chromium can help treat polycystic or ovary syndrome (PCOS) associated with insulin resistance.

Chromium supplements are also examined for their effects on cholesterol levels, heart disease risk, mental conditions, Parkinson's disease, and many other ailments. However, the results of these studies aren't clear or consistent.

Certain people take supplements containing chromium to build muscle or induce weight loss. Some chromium studies have proven these advantages, but others haven't.

How Much Chromium Should You Take?

Experts are unsure how much chromium people require. There isn't a recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the mineral. Instead, scientists created an amount people need to get.

Adequate Intakes (AI) of Chromium

  • Women, ages 19-5025 micrograms/day
  • For women aged 51 and older, 20 micrograms/day
  • Men, ages 19-50, 35 micrograms/day
  • Men aged 51 and above 30 micrograms/day

Many people get more chromium than they do, and there is no way to know what is the safest amount. A high dose of chromium can increase insulin sensitivity and cause liver or kidney damage.

The dosages in research studies differ. For instance, in studies investigating the effects of chromium supplements on patients who suffer from diabetes, patients have taken between 200 and 1,000 micrograms per day divided into smaller doses, 2 to 3 times per day.

Foods With Chromium

It's easy to consume sufficient chromium from a balanced diet. Because the mineral is found in soil, it is found in a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well with grass- or grain-fed meats.

Processed meats such as deli ham and bacon are both high in chromium. However, recent studies show that eating processed meats may increase your chances of contracting chronic diseases.

These eight food items are good sources of chromium

  1. Mussels

Shellfish are generally an excellent source of Chromium. Mussels stand out by having 128 micrograms in a 3.5-ounce serving, and oysters contain the highest amount, 57 micrograms. Brown shrimp provide 26 micrograms.

  1. Broccoli

Most vegetables contain chrome, including green beans, which have 2.2 micrograms, and potatoes, which have 2.7 micrograms in a cup. However, cooking broccoli packs a whopping 22 micrograms.

  1. Grape juice

Grapes naturally contain chromium, and grape juice is a rich resource of the mineral. A glass of grape juice has approximately 7.5 micrograms of chrome. Make sure to choose pure grape juice because many commercial brands contain added flavors, sugars, and other ingredients that decrease the nutritional value of juice.

  1. Brewer's yeast

Brewer's yeast can be used to make beer, but it's also a supplement to your diet, commonly mixed into drinks such as juices, water, or smoothies. It's high in minerals and vitamins, including 3.3 milligrams of chrome for each tablespoon. However, brewer's yeast may cause nausea and bloating in certain people.

  1. Meat

Of all the lean meats, beef has the most chrome, 2 micrograms per 3-ounce serving. Chrome is also found in chicken breasts and turkey. In a 3-ounce serving, turkey contains 1.7 micrograms, while chicken has 0.5 micrograms.

  1. Wine

Similar to its non-alcoholic counterpart grape juice, wine contains significant amounts of the element chromium. The amounts vary depending on the wine's type and source, with red wine samples containing 1.7 to 21.4 micrograms in a cup, while white wines provide 1.6 to 10.5 milligrams in a cup.

  1. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are known for their nutrient-rich amount for a reason. A single nut can provide one microgram of the mineral chromium. Be careful not to consume too much. Brazilian nuts are also loaded with selenium, which can be hazardous in large amounts. Doctors suggest not eating more than 5 Brazil nuts each day.

  1. Whole wheat

Whole-wheat flour is a good source of chromium, with 21 micrograms per 100 grams. This mineral is added to many products made from wheat. A whole-wheat English muffin, for instance, contains 3.6 micrograms of chrome.

What Are the Risks of Taking Chromium?

There are a few risks to be aware of before adding the supplement to your daily diet, for example:

  • Side effects. Chromium seems to have a few adverse side effects. There have been reports of chromium-related unsteady heartbeats, sleep problems, mood swings, headaches, and allergic reactions. Chromium could increase the chance of damage to the liver or kidneys. If you suffer from liver or kidney problems, do not take chromium without consulting your physician first.
  • Interactions. Since chromium may alter glucose levels in the blood, it is essential for anyone who is taking diabetes medication like insulin to take chromium under the supervision of a medical professional. Chromium is also known to interact with other drugs such as antacids, acid reflux drugs, corticosteroids and beta-blockers, thyroid medicine, insulin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications for pain. These interactions could cause Chromium not to be absorbable or increase the effects of other medications.
  • Risques. If you're pregnant or nursing, don't supplement with chromium. Consult a physician before giving supplements containing chromium to your children. Some experts say consuming over 200 milligrams per day without medical guidance is not recommended. It is believed that the Institutes of Medicine hasn't set an acceptable upper intake (UL) since there aren't many adverse side effects of a serious nature have been reported in high-chromium intake.
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