Chromium

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General Description:

  • biologically active chromium, or glucose tolerance factor (GTF), is not simply chromium, but rather a complex of substances that includes chromium, nicotinic acid and some amino acids
  • chromium picolinate is superior to both chloride and nicotinate (for muscle building effects)

Actions:

  • chromium is essential for normal glucose metabolism, insulin metabolism, and muscle growth
  • the body cannot handle sugar without chromium as it evolved with a sugar source containing chromium ie. the sugar cane
  • chromium, in the form picolinate, increases muscle growth and decreases bodyfat

Deficiency:

  • average daily intake in America is 33 mcg for males and 25 mcg for females
  • RDA 50-200 mcg
  • thus, chromium is one of the most deficient minerals in the American food supply
  • impaired GT is found in diabetes and hypoglycemia, and chromium deficiency is now considered the leading cause of these conditions
  • chromium is rapidly depleted during exercise
  • severe deficiency is rare in the US, but borderline deficiency is common
  • marginal deficiency probably occurs with age, as our bodies tend to store less
  • food choices greatly affect chromium health: white flour, sugar, and rice, along with butter and margarine are low in chromium and often make up the most part of ones diet today

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • trivalent chromium in foods is non-toxic but hexavalent chromium or chromate is highly toxic and a known carcinogen

Sources:

  • brewer’s yeast is one of the richest sources of biologically active chromium
  • GTF is not the biologically active form and must be converted to it in the body
  • rich sources of chromium are brewer’s yeast, whole grain cereals, bran, wheat germ and cheese

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