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How can Chromium support your weight loss programme?

How can Chromium support your weight loss programme?


What is Chromium and why is it so important?

Chromium is a trace mineral, which means your body only needs it in very small amounts – typically 35mcg daily for men, and 25mcg for women1.  

However, don’t let that tiny figure fool you. Chromium is essential for healthy blood sugar balance, which means it affects several other aspects of your health and wellbeing.


How Chromium helps to balance your blood sugar

Chromium is a critical component of a nutritional complex known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF).  It plays an important role in the way in which your cells react to insulin – the hormone that helps your body to process and use glucose (sugar) for fuel.  It does this in four key ways:

  • Insulin sensitivity – Chromium helps to inhibit TNF-alpha2 a compound that makes your cells less sensitive to insulin
  • Blood glucose transport – Chromium also helps to transport glucose molecules from your bloodstream into the cells that will burn them for energy
  • Insulin receptors – Chromium has been shown to increase the number of insulin receptors in your cells3
  • Insulin binding – Chromium actively improves the extent to which insulin can bind to your cells

Insulin, blood sugar balance and healthy weight

When the insulin remains in your bloodstream instead of being taken up into your cells, your overall insulin levels rise. Your body interprets this as a sign that you need glucose, resulting in the sugar cravings that can derail even the best healthy eating intentions.

Your body knows that sweet, sugary, high-energy foods will give it the glucose it craves. That’s why the chocolate in the vending machine suddenly looks far more appealing than the healthy chicken salad in the fridge.  No wonder it’s so hard to lose weight when your Chromium levels get too low.

What can you do if you’re low in Chromium?

If you regularly experience sugar cravings, there’s a good chance that your Chromium levels may be low.  Ironically, the sugar that your body craves can significantly reduce the amount of Chromium your body loses through your urine4

If you are low in Chromium, it’s fairly easy to top up.  You can find trace levels of this mineral in foods such as:

  • Wholegrain bread, cereals and brown rice
  • Eggs and cheese
  • Vegetables like spinach, green beans, broccoli and mushrooms
  • Bananas
  • Brewer’s yeast

Alternatively, you may want to try a Chromium supplement.  Many multivitamin tablets now include Chromium, or you could look for a simple Chromium Picolinate (an organic Chromium form) supplement.    

Either way, try topping up your levels, and see how it affects those sugar cravings.

1NHMRC, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.
2Braun, L., Cohen, M. 2010. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, pg.321
3Braun, L., Cohen, M. 2010. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, pg.321

4Braun, L., Cohen, M. 2010. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, pg.321

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How can Chromium support your weight loss programme?

Chromium, what is it? How can it help a weight loss programme? Read the research here.

What is Chromium and why is it so important?

Chromium is a trace mineral, which means your body only needs it in very small amounts – typically 35mcg daily for men, and 25mcg for women1.  

However, don’t let that tiny figure fool you. Chromium is essential for healthy blood sugar balance, which means it affects several other aspects of your health and wellbeing.


How Chromium helps to balance your blood sugar

Chromium is a critical component of a nutritional complex known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF).  It plays an important role in the way in which your cells react to insulin – the hormone that helps your body to process and use glucose (sugar) for fuel.  It does this in four key ways:

  • Insulin sensitivity – Chromium helps to inhibit TNF-alpha2 a compound that makes your cells less sensitive to insulin
  • Blood glucose transport – Chromium also helps to transport glucose molecules from your bloodstream into the cells that will burn them for energy
  • Insulin receptors – Chromium has been shown to increase the number of insulin receptors in your cells3
  • Insulin binding – Chromium actively improves the extent to which insulin can bind to your cells

Insulin, blood sugar balance and healthy weight

When the insulin remains in your bloodstream instead of being taken up into your cells, your overall insulin levels rise. Your body interprets this as a sign that you need glucose, resulting in the sugar cravings that can derail even the best healthy eating intentions.

Your body knows that sweet, sugary, high-energy foods will give it the glucose it craves. That’s why the chocolate in the vending machine suddenly looks far more appealing than the healthy chicken salad in the fridge.  No wonder it’s so hard to lose weight when your Chromium levels get too low.

What can you do if you’re low in Chromium?

If you regularly experience sugar cravings, there’s a good chance that your Chromium levels may be low.  Ironically, the sugar that your body craves can significantly reduce the amount of Chromium your body loses through your urine4

If you are low in Chromium, it’s fairly easy to top up.  You can find trace levels of this mineral in foods such as:

  • Wholegrain bread, cereals and brown rice
  • Eggs and cheese
  • Vegetables like spinach, green beans, broccoli and mushrooms
  • Bananas
  • Brewer’s yeast

Alternatively, you may want to try a Chromium supplement.  Many multivitamin tablets now include Chromium, or you could look for a simple Chromium Picolinate (an organic Chromium form) supplement.    

Either way, try topping up your levels, and see how it affects those sugar cravings.

1NHMRC, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.
2Braun, L., Cohen, M. 2010. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, pg.321
3Braun, L., Cohen, M. 2010. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, pg.321

4Braun, L., Cohen, M. 2010. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, pg.321

How can Chromium support your weight loss programme?
 

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