Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What is Chromium, Benefits and Side Effects of Chromium | The Ultimate Beginner's Guide - Health and Fitness City


                     

What is Chromium?

Chromium is a mineral. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. There
are two forms of chromium: trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. The first is found in foods and supplements and is safe for humans. The second is a known toxin that can cause skin problems and lung cancer.

Chromium is taken by mouth for improving blood sugar control in people with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and high blood sugar due to taking steroids and HIV treatments.

It is also taken by mouth for depression, Turner's syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), lowering "bad" cholesterol, raising "good" cholesterol in people taking heart medications called beta blockers, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart attack, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, binge eating disorder, and a disease called reactive hypoglycemia.

Some people take chromium by mouth for body conditioning including weight loss, increasing muscle, and decreasing body fat. Chromium is also taken by mouth to improve athletic performance, to increase energy, and to prevent age-related mental decline.

Chromium is used intravenously (by IV) as a supplement in nutritional IV drips.


Benefits of Chromium

  • Diabetes. Some evidence shows that taking chromium picolinate (a chemical compound that contains chromium) by mouth, either alone or along with biotin, can lower fasting blood sugar, lower insulin levels, and help insulin work in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other blood fats. Some research shows that taking 15-200 mcg of chromium daily for 6-12 weeks lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in people with slightly high or high cholesterol levels
  • Age-related mental decline. Research shows that taking 1000 mcg of chromium daily for 12 weeks does not improve memory or depression in older people with mild mental decline. However, images of the brain show that taking chromium can increase some brain activity during memory games.
  • High blood sugar associated with HIV treatments. Early research shows that taking chromium nicotinate or chromium picolinate daily for 8-16 weeks might help reduce insulin resistance in HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.
  • A type of depression called atypical depression. Early research shows that chromium picolinate might improve the remission rate in people with atypical depression. However, other evidence shows that taking chromium picolinate does not improve most symptoms of this type of depression.
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels caused by medications. Early research shows that taking 600 mcg of chromium daily for 2 months increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol in men who take a class of drugs called beta-blockers.
  • Bipolar disorder. Early research shows that taking 600-800 mcg of chromium chloride daily for up to 2 years can decrease the frequency of severe mood disturbances in people with bipolar disorder that is resistant to treatment.
  • Long-term depression (dysthymia). There is some early evidence that chromium might improve how people with long-term, mild, depression respond to antidepressants. Taking chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate seems to improve mood in people who only partially respond to antidepressants.
  • Low blood sugar. Early research shows that taking chromium chloride daily for 3 months improves symptoms and increases blood sugar levels in people with low blood sugar. Other early research shows that taking chromium (Biochrome, Pharma-Nord) by mouth daily for 3 months improves symptoms, including chilliness, trembling, and disorientation, in people with low blood sugar.
  • Metabolic syndrome. Early evidence shows that taking a specific chromium product (Chromax, Nutrition21) twice daily for 12 weeks does not affect weight, waist circumferences, blood sugar, or cholesterol levels in people with metabolic syndrome.
  • Heart attack. Research shows that having low chromium levels in the toenail is associated with an increased risk for heart attack. However, toenail levels might not accurately measure chromium levels in the body. There is no reliable research showing that chromium supplements can prevent a heart attack.
  • An ovary disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Early research shows that taking chromium might improve insulin sensitivity and ovulation in women with PCOS. Doses of 1000 mcg per day seem to work best. Lower doses show conflicting results. Chromium doesn’t seem to improve pregnancy rates or testosterone levels in women with PCOS.
  • Turner's syndrome (an inherited disease that often leads to diabetes). Early research shows chromium supplements might improve the processing of sugar and fat in people with Turner's syndrome.


Side Effects of Chromium

  • Breast-feeding: Chromium is LIKELY SAFE to use while breast-feeding when taken by mouth in amounts that are equal to or less than "adequate intake" (AI) levels. The AI for breast-feeding women 14 to 18 years-old is 44 mcg daily. For breast-feeding women 19 to 50 years-old it is 45 mcg daily. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking higher amounts of chromium if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. 
  • Children: Chromium is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts that do not exceed the "adequate intake" (AI) levels. For infants 0 to 6 months-old, the AI is 0.2 mcg daily; 7 to 12 months, 5.5 mcg. For children 1 to 3 years-old, the AI is 11 mcg; 4 to 8 years-old, 15 mcg. For boys 9 to 13 years-old, the AI is 25 mcg. For girls 9 to 13 years-old, the AI is 21 mcg; 14 to 18 years-old, 24 mcg. Taking chromium by mouth is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in amounts that exceed the AI levels. 
  •  Behavioral or psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia: Chromium might affect brain chemistry and might make behavioral or psychiatric conditions worse. If you have one of these conditions, be careful when using chromium supplements. Pay attention to any changes in how you feel. 
  • Chromate/leather contact allergy: Chromium supplements can cause allergic reactions in people with chromate or leather contact allergy. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and scaling of the skin. 
  • Diabetes: Chromium might lower blood sugar levels too much if taken along with diabetes medications. If you have diabetes, use chromium products cautiously and monitor blood glucose levels closely. Dose adjustments to diabetes medications might be necessary. 
  • Kidney disease: There are at least three reports of kidney damage in patients who took chromium picolinate. Don't take chromium supplements, if you already have kidney disease. 
  • Liver disease: There are at least three reports of liver damage in patients who took chromium picolinate. Don't take chromium supplements, if you already have liver disease.


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