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Drop pounds, balance blood sugar, save your bones, and slow aging with chromium. What, you say? I’ve not really heard of chromium. Let me share with you some of the latest news and benefits.
Chromium is a mineral our bodies use for normal body functions, such as digesting food and metabolizing carbohydrates. It improves carbohydrate digestion and reduces rises in blood sugar and insulin release. Chromium exists in many natural foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially the skins), cheeses, molasses, spices, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Drinking hard tap water supplies chromium to the body, and cooking in stainless-steel cookware increases the chromium content in foods.
When you take chromium, you are likely reducing fasting glucose levels and insulin levels which are important for long term health. Elevated levels of blood sugar can lead to diabetes, and does cause many more age related decline issues. Heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure and other risk factors have elevated blood sugar as the underlying problem. Weight gain as we get older is another common symptom, but it also can be reversed. Adequate chromium levels enhance our efforts to exercise and eat healthy, aiding in weight loss.
Eating the same foods at age 40 that we did at age 20 is likely to produce weight gain. Sugars and starches are the drivers of blood sugar. When it goes up, the body produces insulin to enable the blood sugar to be used as energy. As we age this mechanism becomes less efficient and can lead to insulin resistance. Our bodies compensate by producing more insulin and these high levels of insulin lead to fat storage.
Eating less to lose weight will drop pounds, but much of that is muscle loss which adds to the problem. Our muscles are calorie burners. Chromium is helpful because it switches your metabolism so that the weight you lose is fat, not muscle; according to Dr. Preuss, of Georgetown University. He stresses that it is not a magic pill. But by improving the metabolism of carbohydrates, it manages rises in blood sugar and insulin release. Over time this will make a real difference.
Healthy people can benefit from chromium as shown in this study published in Nutrition Journal. These people were given a sugar solution drink. The chromium supplement significantly reduced increases in both blood sugar and insulin levels. Chromium picolinate was used in these trials. Chromium supplements were also shown to slow the loss of calcium, which may help decrease bone loss in postmenopausal women.
While most people with a healthy balanced diet generally receive enough chromium, we have included it in our Nature’s Garden daily multivitamin. We wanted to be sure to include chromium picolinate so you would receive the metabolism and anti-aging benefits that have been described above.