Chromium Picolinate Weight Loss Benefits and Side Effects
Chromium is one of the most vital of all trace elements, and the body needs sufficient chromium to properly metabolize fats and sugar. While chromium is found throughout the body, the highest concentrations are found in the liver, the spleen, the bones and the kidneys.
The main functions of chromium include providing a steady stream of energy by helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, helping to increase the amount of glycogen available to the body, and controlling insulin and related hormones.
It is important to know that natural levels of chromium will decline over time, so some supplementation may be necessary as we get older. When taking chromium supplements, it is important not to combine them with either milk or foods, such as bananas, which are high in phosphorus. That is because milk and phosphorous can block the absorption of this important trace element.
Chromium is a favorite supplement with dieters seeking weight loss, especially those who suffer from sugar cravings while on a diet. Chromium seems to have the ability to thwart the worst sugar cravings, and additionally it is believed to boost the metabolism.
Dietary Sources of Chromium
Some of the best sources of chromium in the diet are eggs, beef and some grains.
Recommended Daily Intake of Chromium
The recommended daily intake of chromium has been set at 120 micrograms per day. (A microgram, or mcg, is 1 millionth of a gram.)
Most chromium supplements come in 500 mcg doses, and chromium can combine well with niacin. Chromium picolinate supplement formulations, which feature a combination of chromium and picolinic acid, are believe to be especially effective, being more easily absorbed and used by the body.
Side Effects and Toxicity of Chromium
Excessive chromium levels are typically not an issue, since chromium is easily excreted. However, taking significantly more than the recommended daily allowance for longer than two months may cause liver problems, kidney damage and gastrointestinal problems. Taking very large doses, such as 0.5 g can result in serious toxicity, and it is believed that consumption of several grams can be fatal.
Symptoms Chromium Deficiency
Some signs of chromium deficiency include fatigue, anxiety, low blood sugar and an increased risk of heart disease.
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