Chromium picolinate is a dietary supplement formulation of the trace mineral chromium. Chromium aids in the function of insulin, a hormone that is essential in human metabolism. Chromium can be found in various foods, including yeast, whole grains, cheese, liver, and meat. It promotes glucose metabolism, aids in diabetes management, and reduces carbohydrate cravings, appetite, and weight loss. It has even been claimed that it can also enhance lean muscle mass.
This post will explain the incredible and potentially life-changing benefits of using Chromium picolinate for weight loss, depression, appetite regulation, and treating insulin resistance, as well as how to use it safely and effectively.
What is Chromium Picolinate?
Chromium is considered an essential trace mineral. It is necessary because it participates in the critical metabolism of macromolecules as well as insulin signaling pathways. The picolinate portion is where chromium is bound, and it is the picolinate portion that gives chromium its unique properties, especially when compared to dietary chromium. Picolinic acid helps to stabilize the chromium portion of the supplement and increases its bioavailability (meaning the amount that your body can use).
Benefits of Using Chromium Picolinate
Animal studies showed the need for chromium long before it was developed as a dietary supplement. Humans have only recently been studied more to help us understand. These studies helped us understand chromium's impact on cholesterol, insulin, and insulin resistance. Let us find out in detail.
Helps Keep Cholesterol in Control
When compared to a placebo, daily chromium supplementation has been shown to significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL levels. This is significant because we know that dysregulated cholesterol can increase cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.
So, how does chromium aid in the improvement of cholesterol markers?
Its effects on insulin signaling most likely mediate the first effect. Insulin resistance is a well-known cause of dyslipidemia and one of the metabolic syndrome diagnostic criteria. The idea is that increased insulin sensitivity will likely solve various issues ranging from hypertension to cholesterol levels. In this regard, chromium is most likely beneficial. The second way it affects metabolism is through its effects on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. It's possible that taking chromium supplements helps your body metabolize these fats, resulting in lower circulating cholesterol levels.
Reduces Insulin Resistance
One of the most well-known advantages of using chromium is its role in insulin signaling. Insulin is a necessary hormone that aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels in your body and cells. Insulin resistance has been linked to the development of type II diabetes, hypertension, weight gain, and high cholesterol.
According to various studies, patients with type II diabetes have 20-40% lower chromium blood levels when compared to healthy people. Therefore, it has been proposed that chromium deficiency may play a role in developing type II diabetes in some people. Taking an adequate amount of chromium every day might help reduce the danger of developing type II diabetes.
Helps with Weight Loss
Chromium aids in weight loss as it breaks down macromolecules such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Apart from its effects on macromolecule metabolism, chromium has also been shown to help reduce or suppress appetite.
Obesity is always not the result of the problem of overeating and not enough exercise. For example, it is well known that insulin resistance leads to increased fat deposition via insulin's effects on fat tissue. So, if you have fat due to insulin resistance, chromium is likely to be more effective for weight loss in your body. Similarly, chromium may be more effective for you if you have difficulty controlling your appetite and have intense carbohydrate cravings.
Regulates Appetite and Food Cravings
Another significant advantage of using chromium is that it may influence total food consumption, particularly carbohydrate cravings. When taking chromium picolinate, certain patients were able to adequately control their appetite and cravings for certain foods compared to placebo. It is well known that eating refined carbohydrates increases cravings for the same food group. Scientists believe that sugar and carbohydrates cause dopaminergic activation in the brain, resulting in a positive response system or addiction.
It has been proposed that chromium may affect specific neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby blocking this feedback loop and regulating appetite. As a result, it's better to think of chromium as an appetite "normalizer" rather than an appetite "suppressant." Long-term appetite suppression may cause metabolic damage and thus increase the likelihood of weight gain. On the other hand, an appetite normalizer may help reduce cravings for foods that you shouldn't be eating in the first place.
Regardless of how chromium works, it appears to benefit people (particularly women) who have intense carbohydrate cravings. Chromium supplementation, which affects serotonin and dopamine pathways, has also shown some early promise in treating binge eating disorders.
How to Supplement It?
You don't need to add another bottle to your supplement stack by buying chromium picolinate separately. Instead, you can fulfil your daily RDA by just adding an excellent multivitamin like Maximult from Epicvita that provides you with the needed amount of chromium picolinate in its daily serving. Maximult is available for men and women.
The Bottom Line
Chromium picolinate is a very safe and effective mineral that may help with symptoms ranging from weight gain to insulin resistance to appetite suppression. Even when compared to natural food sources of chromium, chromium bound to picolinic acid improves absorption and bioavailability.
Although chromium picolinate is highly absorbed, it can cause cellular damage if used in high doses and for long periods. You can avoid these side effects by using them only when necessary and for the appropriate length of time.
Onakpoya, I., Posadzki, P., & Ernst, E. (2013). Chromium supplementation in overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Obesity Reviews, 14(6), 496–507. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12026
Hasten, D. L., Hegsted, M., Keenan, M. J., & Morris, G. (1997). DOSAGE EFFECTS OF CHROMIUM PICOLINATE ON GROWTH AND BODY COMPOSITION IN THE RAT. Nutrition Research, 17(7), 1175–1186. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0271-5317(97)00088-2
Clancy, S. P., Clarkson, P. M., DeCheke, M. E., Nosaka, K., Freedson, P. S., Cunningham, J. J., & Valentine, B. (1994). Effects of Chromium Picolinate Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Urinary Chromium Loss in Football Players. International Journal of Sports Nutrition, 4(2), 142–153. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsn.4.2.142