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Chromium Supplements: A Blood Sugar Myth?

While on lockdown I've been skimming through old nutrition articles and magazines and I came across an article in "Nutrition Action" Magazine (I bought it at Sprouts a couple years ago and never really read it) that said Chromium supplements have no positive affect on the body. I was like "What?!" I read further, and realized they were talking specifically about Chromium Picolinate.

Let's back up for a second. In my last blog "A for Effort, but a lot of vitamins are crap!" I talked about how a lot of vitamins and minerals are synthetic, but another really important thing to remember is that there are many forms of the same vitamin or mineral. Some are very easy to absorb and beneficial to the body and some are completely useless.

You'll typically see Chromium in two forms: Chromium Picolinate or Chromium Polynicotinate. The spelling is very similar, I know. So what's the difference?

Picolinate has a negatively charged ion and is repelled by your cells. The body can't use it. Polynicotinate though, is Chromium combined with Niacin which makes it very easily absorbed and VERY usable by the body.

So what does Chromium Polynicotinate do for the body?

Chromium Polynicotinate, also known as Trivalent Chromium, is a trace mineral that is naturally occuring in foods like: broccoli, barley, oats, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, green beans and black pepper, and is a trace mineral needed by your pancreas to regulate insulin and overeating. It also helps metabolize fats, specifically cholesterol.

So Chromium DOES have a positive affect on the body, a very BIG positive affect, if you get the right one, and take it for long enough.

***Interesting tidbit: when you eat sugar, it causes your body to excrete some of your chromium stores. So if you eat sugar long enough and in large enough amounts, pretty soon you won't any Chromium stores left, and blood sugar issues will ensue i.e. lightheadedness/dizzyness before meals, waking up in the middle of the night with difficulty going back to sleep, trouble handling stress, weight gain, and extreme sugar cravings.

It's understandably easy to buy what's cheapest, or what a neighbor recommends, or what you see on late night infomercials, but don't be fooled. Don't waste your money on cheap, synthetic supplements that your body can't use. Try to get chromium from food first, but if you can't eat enough of the above foods enough to get your daily requirement and fill your deficiency, get a good quality chromium supplement.

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What 'Eating for Your Blood Type' book, do you recommend?

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