Chromium promotes weight loss, as it plays a key role in the metabolism of carbs, fat, and protein. It reduces the accumulation of fat, while increasing protein synthesis and lean mass! Hence, getting high doses of chromium from food or supplements might help lose weight faster and improve body composition!
Chromium is a mineral. There are two main forms in nature, though.
Trivalent chromium is the healthy form, which is naturally present in foods and water. It has many health benefits. Our bodies can’t produce chromium. We have to get it from our diet. We only need tiny amounts of this element.
On the other hand, hexavalent chromium is the dangerous form. It’s a toxic by-product of stainless-steel and other manufacturing processes.
Foods and dietary supplements contain the health-promoting trivalent chromium.
Health benefits of chromium
Above all, chromium is well-known to help the functions of insulin. Thus, chromium plays a key role in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism.
As chromium seems to improve glucose tolerance, reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and control blood sugar, it might be beneficial for people with diabetes. But further studies are needed to prove these health benefits.
Moreover, high chromium intake may be beneficial against obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and hypertension. These factors can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke!
Furthermore, chromium seems to help women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a common endocrine disorder. Insulin resistance is a key cause. Chromium plays a key role in reducing insulin resistance.
Additionally, chromium can fight oxidative stress, as it has antioxidant effects.
How much chromium do I need a day?
The recommended daily dose for chromium is 25 mcg and 35 mcg for women and men, respectively.
Children and elderly people need even lower dosages of chromium.
Only lactating women need higher doses of 45 mcg.
Chromium promotes weight loss
Chromium may be beneficial for losing weight. Many studies have been conducted investigating its role in weight loss. But, scientific data are controversial.
According to a big meta-analysis which analyzed data from 1,316 overweight or obese people, daily chromium doses of 200-1,000 mcg led to significant weight loss. Also, participants reduced their Body Mass Index (BMI) and their body fat percentage!
Another study found out that chromium is good for weight loss because it reduces hunger and cravings for fat. Thus, it can make dieting easy. Less eating leads to a caloric deficit, which it’s crucial for burning fat and losing weight.
Moreover, cravings for fat and sugar make us gain weight. Foods high in fats are packed with calories. In fact, 1 gram of fat has 9 calories, while 1 gram of carbs or protein has only 4 calories!
Furthermore, as chromium improves the function of insulin, it may lower blood glucose levels, preventing its storage as body fat.
In conclusion, although to a small extent, chromium seems to promote weight loss and the reduction of body fat percentage.
Certainly, consuming fewer calories than you burn, it’s by far more important than taking chromium supplements.
If you want to burn more fat and improve your body composition, you should combine exercising and consuming lots of foods high in chromium.
Chromium may improve body composition
This process is stimulated by insulin. Actually, insulin is a hormone with huge anabolic effects in the body! For instance, insulin can increase the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This is also a powerful anabolic hormone which promotes muscle growth.
Certainly, regular resistance training, along with a well-balanced diet are vital for increasing lean body mass.
Increased muscle mass is beneficial for weight loss. Muscle increases basal metabolism. It burns high amounts of energy. So, we lose weight easier.
Can I get enough chromium from foods, or do I need supplements to lose weight?
In most cases, healthy people who follow a well-balanced diet don’t need chromium supplements. In fact, chromium deficiency is rare.
Actually, many foods contain chromium. In the standard American diet, meat and fruits are the main dietary sources of chromium. But, whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, spices, brewer’s yeast, beer, and wine are also common foods providing chromium.
Moreover, the absorption rate of chromium from supplements and foods is similar. Most supplements contain chromium picolinate. This form has the highest absorption rate. It’s nearly 1.2%.
Furthermore, there isn’t an upper safe daily dose for chromium. Certainly, we can’t get too much chromium from food. Also, even high doses of 1,000 mcg of chromium from supplements are considered safe. But, you better take supplements with doses up to 200 mcg.
You can compare prices of chromium supplements on Amazon.
Always consult your health care provider before taking supplements. Especially, if you’re taking medication.
Above all, if you want to lose weight, you better eat healthy foods high in chromium. Plants are excellent dietary sources. They’re low in calories and high in fiber, enhancing weight loss.
Foods rich in chromium
In fact, plants are the richest foods in chromium.
On the contrary, only a few foods from animal sources are good dietary sources of chromium. Meat is high in chromium. Dairy and eggs contain low amounts of chromium.
Last, but not least, despite their low concentrations of chromium, red wine, beer, coffee, and green tea significantly contribute to its daily intake. We tend to consume large amounts of these beverages.
Moreover, food processing, such as grinding, may increase the content of chromium of food. Stainless-steel equipment may leach chromium in food.