Chromium picolinate is a chemical compound used as a natural supplement to prevent and treat chromium deficiency and assist in weight loss program.
Chromium picolinate has the ability to increase the efficiency of insulin to optimal levels and thus suppress the appetite and control food cravings.
Chromium picolinate is a widespread ingredient found in many herbal weight-loss products readily available for over-the-counter sale at the local drugstore or on the internet. Most of these products are claimed to be miraculously efficient for weight loss, mood enhancement, energy, and even in the prevention of acne. However, chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement and the Food and Drug Administration cannot guarantee for the accuracy of advertiser’s claims.
What is chromium picolinate?
Chromium picolinate supplement is made by combining chromium and picolinic acid. Chromium is a natural mineral found in everyday foods like meat, poultry, fish and whole grain products. Processed food is usually low in chromium. Chromium deficiency affects normal effectiveness of insulin, leading to the other symptoms such as severely impaired glucose tolerance, a loss of weight, and confusion. In a process of making this supplement, chromium is combined with picolinic acid, which improves the absorption of chromium.
Benefits and side-effects
Hormone insulin is secreted after eating and its primary role is to transport glucose to the body cells and provide them with energy. There is the evidence that chromium picolinate stimulates the efficiency of insulin and helps in breakdown of glucose and fats. Moreover, it is possible that improved insulin efficiency increases production of serotonin, and additionally reduces appetite. The exact impact mechanism is yet unknown but some of the researchers believe chromium can even regulate the fat production in the body, and actually prevent formation of fat.
This dietary supplement may be efficient in treatment of Type 2 diabetes, as it may help to lower blood sugar levels, to stabilize them and prevent rapid fluctuations. Moreover, maintaining stable blood sugar levels is very important in every weight loss plan, as it prevents cravings for carbohydrates.
The supplement is also beneficial for patients with high cholesterol levels, as it lowers the triglyceride levels in the body. This benefit, combined with sufficient chromium intake, may significantly lower one’s risk of developing heart diseases.
However, this supplement has some side-effects. There are some serious concerns that chromium picolinate is more likely to cause DNA mutations and damage, than other forms of trivalent chromium. Moreover, the chromium picolinate may provoke headaches, palpitations, sleep disturbances, diarrhea, and vomiting. In more severe cases, the blood may be present in stool and vomit, accompanied with abdominal pain, yellowing skin, dark urine, skin rash, wheezing, etc.