Our body needs chromium in minute quantities to perform various functions, including fat and protein synthesis.
We get small quantities from some of the foods we eat, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, spices, and meats. Sometimes, we don’t get enough of it from foods, and this is what brought on Chromium Picolinate — a form of chromium.
Scientists have now discovered a new use for this mineral. They found the key benefit that it works as a weight-loss supplement.
But is it reliable for this effect? If yes, why and how does it work for that purpose? These are some of the things you will learn in this article.
- What is Chromium Picolinate?
- How Does Chromium Picolinate Work?
- Health Benefits of Chromium Picolinate
- How To Take Chromium Picolinate To Lose Weight
- What Are The Side Effects of Chromium Picolinate
- Should You Take Chromium Supplements?
What is Chromium Picolinate?
Chromium is a mineral the body needs and is found in foods in limited quantities. It helps to improve insulin sensitivity and aid protein, lipid, and glucose metabolism.
Chromium plays a significant role in the absorption of these nutrients due to its effect on the hormone insulin.
Chromium Picolinate, on the other hand, is a form of chromium commonly found in dietary supplements.
Our bodies cannot produce the chromium it needs; this is why it is included in nutritional supplements as Chromium Picolinate.
Not having enough chromium, its metabolic influence will not be felt, which is not good enough.
Scientists report that those who have a chromium deficiency may find it challenging to burn fats.
In other words, the lack of chromium can result in fat gain, and having enough of it in the system can aid in weight loss.
How Does Chromium Picolinate Work?
Chromium Picolinate works by enhancing metabolism. Sometimes, reducing body fat is beyond going to the gym; you may need a slight adjustment in your cellular level.
One of the common reasons why you may be struggling with fat loss is insulin resistance. It may result in a pre-diabetic state and end up as type two diabetes. A significant cause of this condition is the lack of chromium.
Since your body can’t produce this trace nutrient, you need to take it from your diet. If you don’t take enough of it, you may increase fat levels and add up weight.
What Does Chromium Supplementation Do?
Eating healthy food is not enough; the body must break it down and utilize its nutrients. This is where a form of chromium is an essential addition.
This dietary supplement form aids food absorption, allowing the body to breakdown more nutrients. For instance, when you eat carbohydrates in your diet, your body breaks them down into glucose, fuel it needs for its energy.
The glucose will be transported to cells, and the cells become energized to carry out their respective activities.
When the body needs glucose, it may become a problem if there is too much of it in the bloodstream. It may result in diabetes and eventually lead to heart disease.
To prevent this, the body needs insulin to get the glucose out of the bloodstream and convert it to glycogen. Insulin works with chromium picolinate supplementation to perform this action.
How Does It Help You To Reduce Fat?
Chromium and insulin act together in a specific way to protect the body. When the glucose aligns with a cell, it waits to enter the cell.
Insulin steps in and opens up the cell so that the glucose can have access into the cell.
At this point, chromium binds with the glucose transporter to aid its movement into the cell.
If the body doesn’t have enough chromium, it means there’s nothing to aid glucose transportation into the cell. Thus, it remains outside seating.
The glucose will continue to float around in the blood and continue to pile up. When you eat, there will be more glucose piled up.
At that point, the body assumes there’s not enough insulin, it sends such a signal to the pancreas, and the pancreas begins to produce more insulin.
With insulin increase in the blood, the body will get another signal demanding more glucose to maintain a balance. The person begins to crave eating more sugar.
As the sugar intake increases, glucose increases so does insulin. This vicious cycle continues until there’s insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance which is a significant problem.
The excess insulin present in the body switches its role. If it can’t reduce the body’s amount of glucose, it instructs the body to store it as fat. As such, such individuals will begin to add more mass.
This cycle could have been avoided if there’s enough chromium in the body. It works to drive the glucose into the cells and be burned as the body’s fuel.
With enough chromium in the blood, glucose will reduce in the blood, insulin level will drop, and one will not crave more sugar.
This is how the presence of chromium can help you lose weight, while its absence or inadequacy can lead to weight gain.
Health Benefits of Chromium Picolinate
Chromium Picolinate has several health benefits and performance backed by scientific evidence.
Some of these benefits include:
Enhance Fat Loss and Increase Muscle Mass
Chromium supplementation effects on eating behavior and nutrient metabolism may help enhance fat loss and increase muscle mass.
Chromium Picolinate helps control sugar craving; thus, with such controlled food craving. A person will eat less sugar, and it will result in better health.
With a lesser sugar consumption, the body won’t have excess glucose to store as fats.
When there are lesser fats to store, it may eventually result in fat loss as the body burns the little available fuel.
Protein is a bodybuilding nutrient and required for muscle development. Since Chromium Picolinate enhances protein metabolism, it allows the body to utilize the available protein nutrients for bodybuilding purposes.
Therefore, Chromium Picolinate enhances fat loss and increases muscle development.
An analysis was conducted on nine different studies better to understand Chromium Picolinate’s effectiveness on fat loss.
It includes 622 overweight or obese people. Volunteers in these studies were given Chromium Picolinate with doses up to 1,000 μg/day.
The analysis endorsed by The Food and Nutrition Board reveals that after 12 to 16 weeks of being subjected to these doses, overweight or obese people lost up to 2.4 pounds or 1.1 Kg (1).
Hence, taking chromium picolinate dietary supplements can enhance fat loss and improve muscle growth.
Reduce Hunger and Cravings
Most people try to lose fat, but they didn’t see any significant difference after trying several weight loss methods.
If you want to burn fat, you want to care about what you eat, put in your stomach, and how you plan your diet. One may eat more if one suffers from food cravings all the time.
Researchers have found that Chromium supplements can help in this regard. One of the benefits of chromium is that it reduces hunger and cravings, making you eat less.
A research was conducted on healthy overweight women to study Chromium Picolinate’s effects in reducing hunger and cravings (2).
The women were given 1,000 μg/day of Chromium supplements. The result shows that the food intake, hunger, and cravings of the women reduced significantly.
They concluded that these effects might be due to the action of Chromium Picolinate supplements on brain health.
Another study was conducted on 113 people with depression for eight weeks. They were divided into two groups, and the first group had 600 mcg per day of chromium chloride while the other group was given a placebo.
The result shows that those given Chromium supplementations experienced a reduced appetite and cravings than the placebo group (3).
Improve Blood Sugar Levels
Several studies reveal how Chromium Picolinate can help to improve blood sugar levels.
Research shows that taking chromium supplements of 200 mcg per day for 16 weeks can help lower blood sugar and improve the body’s response to insulin (4).
When the body can respond well to insulin, high blood sugar reduces by converting the glucose to glycogen and safely stored in the body.
Another research shows that people with higher blood sugar and lower insulin level will respond better to Chromium Picolinate supplements (5).
One significant research that involves 62,000 adults shows that the possibilities of having diabetes are 27% lower in people taking chromium supplementation (6).
Therefore, chromium is a mineral, an essential supplement that helps to improve blood sugar levels.
Help In Managing Diabetes and Depression
Type 2 diabetes arises when there’s too much glucose that the body requires. Insulin is responsible for beating down the body’s glucose level.
However, glucose will continue to pile up when there’s insulin resistance and eventually result in diabetes.
Any form of Chromium Picolinate supports insulin to manage blood sugar. When there’s enough of it in the body, glucose level will be under control. Therefore, it helps type 2 diabetes as well.
This dietary supplement may also help fight depression. It does this by stimulating the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that helps with mood regulation.
Studies conducted on animals and humans show that Chromium Picolinate may help decrease a 5-HT 2A receptor activity, a type of serotonin receptor.
The effects of this supplement are similar to the effects of using antidepressants for a long time.
How To Take Chromium Picolinate To Lose Weight
If you want to burn fats and lose weight, you must take the required dosage of Chromium Picolinate to see the desired result.
According to the study cited above, this form of supplement can enhance fat loss and improve muscle mass. You can take up to 1,000 μg of its dosage per day to lose weight (7).
Both supplement forms of chromium and the one obtained from food sources are suitable, but you should opt for the supplement if you want faster action.
What Is The Best Time To Take Chromium Picolinate?
You can take this supplement any time of the day. It begins to work as soon as it gets into the stomach.
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll start to lose weight once you take the supplement, but its effect on aiding metabolism will begin a few minutes after taking it.
You may have to wait for a few weeks before you start to see its weight loss effects.
What Are The Side Effects of Chromium Picolinate
Chromium Picolinate is a safe supplement that you can take if you need any form of the benefits it renders. However, like other supplements, this supplement also has some side effects. They include:
- Mood changes or feeling Irritable
- Stomach irritation and liver problems
- Decreased action of insulin.
- In rare cases, it can also cause liver damage and kidney damage.
Should You Take Chromium Supplements?
Yes! You can take Chromium supplements if you feel symptoms that your body doesn’t have enough of it.
If you are not overweight and you don’t have insulin resistance, there may be no need for you to take the supplement since you already obtain the required dosage (dietary reference intake) from the foods you eat. Overall, Chromium supplement is safe, and you can take it if you need it since it has several health benefits.
It is known to help improve the body’s insulin response, reduce hunger craving, enhance fat loss, improve blood glucose levels, and manage diabetes and depression.
Chromium is in the foods we eat, but sometimes, we don’t get enough chromium content from our diet.
Therefore, we may have to source for it from supplements. People who have chromium deficiency are prone to having insulin resistance and may eventually become overweight or obese.
Chromium Picolinate is safe for use, and taking the required dosage can help with your weight loss journey.
- Is Chromium supplement a fat burner?
Yes! Chromium picolinate is a fat burner. Its fat-burning benefit is due to its action on enhancing the body’s metabolism of fat and glucose.
An increased fat metabolism rate means more fats will be burned as fuel to be used as energy by cells.
- How long does it take for chromium picolinate to start working?
It starts working a few minutes after you take it. It gets to work and begins to enhance body metabolism.
However, this supplement is not a magic wand for weight loss; therefore, you shouldn’t expect to see a significant change in your body mass a few minutes after taking it.
You only begin to see a considerable decrease in your body mass after a few weeks of continuous use. By this time, you should experience on your body that a lot of fats are burned.
- What is the difference between Chromium Picolinate and Chromium Polynicotinate?
Chromium Picolinate and Chromium Polynicotinate are both supplements of chromium. However, they differ in their composition.
The former comprises chromium and picolinic acid, while the latter is made of chromium bound to niacin.
Chromium Picolinate is more effective in treating diabetes and hypoglycemia. Chromium Polynicotinate, on the other hand, is more effective for weight loss.
- Does chromium picolinate interact with medications?
Yes, it can, like other supplements. Chromium picolinate interacts with medications.
Some of the medications that interact with this supplement include prednisone, steroid use, anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, levothyroxine, and proton pump inhibitors or antacids.