About Chromium Picolinate
Chromium is a mineral that’s essential for health, but it’s tough for the body to absorb. By itself, only 3 percent of the dietary chromium a person takes is absorbed. That’s why it’s often coupled with picolinic acid, which is derived from tryptophan. Chromium picolinate, like other supplements, can be bought easily at the pharmacy or the supermarket. It’s a pinkish red powder that can come in capsule form.
Tip: Because supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, it’s up to the shopper to make sure that the company that manufactures the chromium picolinate supplement is reliable.
What Chromium Does
Chromium stimulates enzymes that metabolize glucose for energy and enzymes that synthesize cholesterol and fatty acids. What chromium picolinate is really famous for is making insulin more effective in getting glucose into the cells. Even a very mild deficiency of chromium can interfere with the functioning of insulin and cause a dangerous glucose intolerance in diabetics.
A chromium deficiency can also contribute to atherosclerosis, since chromium is thought to suppress plaque forming on the inside of the arteries. Fortunately, chromium deficiencies are rare. It’s also unusual to get a toxic dose of chromium unless the person is exposed to industrial processes that use chromium, like electroplating or steel and glass making. Some researchers claim that chromium picolinate can cause mutations in DNA, but this is disputed.
Sources of Chromium
Some natural sources of chromium are corn oil, clams, whole grains, brewer’s yeast and meats. Chromium is mostly stored in the spleen, the kidneys and the testes, with smaller amounts stored in the pancreas, lungs, brain and heart. It’s also found in RNA and some enzymes. The amount of chromium a person stores decreases as they get older.
Many people take chromium picolinate mainly to lose weight and build up muscle, though some researchers dispute its effectiveness. Other researchers claim that chromium picolinate supplements can alleviate certain kinds of depression, but this is also inconclusive. Studies do tend to suggest that chromium picolinate can quell carbohydrate or fat cravings in some people.
There’s no recommended daily allowance for chromium, though some dietitians recommend 50 to 200 micrograms a day. People who might need extra chromium are heavy drinkers, the elderly, pregnant women, athletes and people who are on low calorie diets.
Want to get a little added chromium in your diet? Sprinkle your kale chips with umami picolinate goodness! Recipe for these crispy chips here
Do you get your chromium? Comment below and let me know!
Jamie thanks for the reminder about chromium. I had used it several years ago and forgot why I stopped. Time to pick up some more.
Also, OT but I’m not getting email updates from this blog anymore since April 18 2013. I tried your contact page to let someone know about this but the Captcha images are red-starred out and that feature makes contacting you undoable other than through comments like this. Sorry abotu cluttering the comments section like this but didn’t know what else to do.
Your Lighter Side says
Hi, Deb! I wonder what’s up with that! That shouldn’t be happening at all. If the email in your comment is your email, I’ll manually add you…
Tina Bowles says
Where do I get the recipes for all the fabulos food?
April W says
I wanted to add that people with metabolic resistance and diabetics would be well served with more chromium in their diet. I always do much better when I remember to take my chromium.
Hi Jamie, still not getting any notifications of updates, nothing even in my spam or junk folders. I’ll just make a note to directly check the blog daily. thanks for trying.
Your Lighter Side says
Hi! I’ll try and add you manually. Please check your email inbox. You’ll be asked to grant permission to receive emails.
Diane K. says
Deb, if it still won’t work then you can try to open a new mail account. You can get free emails through places like yahoo, hotmail, gmail…
When is the best time to take chromium picolate and is there any other vitamins that i should avoid at the same time as taking this?