Chromium by Nature's Life
Nature's Life - Chromium 200 mcg. - 100 Capsules
Nature's Life Chromium is an organically bonded, yeast-free trivalent form of Chromium Picolinate. Chromium is an essential nutrient.
Feature & Benefits:
- Helps promote normal blood sugar levels
- Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels
- Essential to metabolize carbohydrates and fats
- Trivalent chromium, chelated with picolinate, acts as a precursor to Glucose Tolerance Factor.
An essential trace mineral, chromium helps people use insulin more efficiently. Insufficient dietary chromium has been linked to glucose intolerance and abnormal cholesterol levels. In double blind studies, normal people who were given 200 mcg of chromium daily had significantly higher levels of HDL-cholesterol (the good kind) than those who received placebo. In studies with people who had high, normal and low blood sugar levels, those with abnormal levels tended to normalize when given chromium supplements, but those with normal levels did not change.
A diet high in processed foods, sugar and fat lacks enough chromium to metabolize these foods. When a diet is high in sugar, chromium losses increase. Chromium losses also increase due to pregnancy, strenuous exercise, trauma, illness and aging. Unlike some minerals, chromium is not recycled by the body; once used, it is excreted. When people were given glucose, chromium excretion increased by 50%. Insulin dependent diabetics lose three times more chromium than healthy people. Signs of marginal chromium deficiency include glucose intolerance, elevated serum cholesterol and triglycerides and elevated circulating insulin. Of course, these signs may also be symptoms of illness, but testing for chromium status can determine if supplementation is needed.
The Need for Chromium Supplements
While severe chromium deficiency is not common in the US, marginal deficiencies seem widespread. Ninety-five percent of Americans do not consume the recommended safe and adequate amount of chromium. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 50-200 mcg of chromium daily and the FDA’s Recommended Daily Intake is 130 mcg, yet the average American consumes less than 30 mcg. Americans contain much less chromium in the body (average 1.7 mg) than do people in the Far East (9 mg). Chromium absorption may be enhanced by vitamin C; one study showed up to 448% greater chromium absorption when taken with vitamin C.
Chromium Picolinate is easily absorbed and utilized. Good food sources of chromium are mushrooms, whole grains, high chromium brewer’s yeast, seeds, liver and some fruits and vegetables; milk and refined grains are poor sources. Chromium supplements are very safe. Even at very high doses, no toxicity was found (5 mg/liter in drinking water and 100 mg/kg of the diet) in test animals
Minerals are inorganic substances mined from the earth, meaning they are not of plant or animal origin. They exist naturally on and in the earth and many are critical parts of human tissue and are termed “essential” nutrients. Of the 92 naturally occurring elements, the 14 minerals that have been shown by research to be essential to human health are: calcium, chromium, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. Essential macrominerals are those we need in significant quantities (such as calcium) – usually measured in milligrams, and essential trace minerals are those we need in minute quantities (such as selenium) – usually measured in micrograms (one microgram [mcg] equals 1/1,000th of a milligram [mg]).
These 14 essential minerals are crucial to the growth and production of bones, teeth, hair, blood, nerves, skin, vitamins, enzymes and hormones; and the healthy functioning of nerve transmission, blood circulation, fluid regulation, cellular integrity, energy production and muscle contraction.
Minerals work in combination with each other and with other nutrients, so imbalances of any mineral can cause health problems – too little of any essential mineral can lead to deficiency diseases, and too much of any mineral can be toxic.
We get these essential minerals primarily through the foods we eat. Good sources of essential minerals include fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, beans and dairy products. Unfortunately, much of the soil in which food is grown has been depleted of these nutritive minerals, therefore the mineral content in food is reduced. We also obtain some minerals from the water we drink, but the amounts vary widely.
Mineral availability and absorption is also affected as foods are cooked, processed and refined, and many naturally occurring minerals in food are removed. A daily mineral supplement is not a substitute for a healthy diet, but can ensure we get the minerals we need for optimal health.
Chromium functions as part of several enzyme systems, including the glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which works with insulin in the utilization of glucose (blood sugar). Insulin helps to control metabolism of triglycerides (the main form of fat in the body), therefore chromium has a positive effect on triglycerides due to its influence over insulin. Chromium deficiency has been linked to improper metabolism and imbalances of blood sugar. While popularly used as a supplement to achieve weight loss and muscle gain, research is not consistent enough to validate chromium’s effect for those benefits.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture widespread chromium deficiency is due not only to inadequate food intake but also to excess sugar intake that increases chromium losses in the body. The only common food source is brewer’s yeast.
Chromium should not be taken in excess however—there have been reported cases of toxicity when used in high doses (>800 mcg/day).
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