Chromium is a chemical element (CR in the periodic table), which gets its name from the Greek word 'chroma', meaning color. This element is considered an essential mineral because it helps insulin in the body function properly, which plays an important role in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
In spite of the fact that we get chromium from foods we eat, many people fail to get enough, and athletes need more than the average person to reach their athletic goals. Hence the reason it is found in various supplements geared towards the athlete.
Historically, Chromium was found as a component of plants and animals in 1948, and a decade later researchers found that it enhances synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids from acetate.
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How it Works
Chromium works in the body to help regulate blood sugar. Without chromium working with insulin, blood sugar can damage our cells. In fact, this is called having a glucose intolerance, and it can cause a domino effect of problems in the body.
Moreover, chromium does a great job at helping organs function properly, specifically the heart. Interestingly, countries with diets rich in chromium have fewer instances of heart attacks and strokes among their population. On the flip side, an individual with low levels of chromium will have an increased risk of heart attack, and we know that chromium levels will drop by 9% per decade as people age.
Research and Medical Uses
Studies done on diabetics showed that chromium helped control glycemic issues and regulate blood sugar. As a matter of fact, a study in 2006 showed that people with type II diabetes benefited from chromium use because it helped offset weight gain from other drugs they were taking, and improved blood sugar control.
Being an essential mineral, chromium can have a wide array of uses and benefits for bodybuilders. We know that chromium helps reduce cravings for sweets, which can help the athlete during a cut when they are trying to shed fat. This is made possible due to its ability to stabilize blood sugar and its positive impact on metabolic enzymes and hormones. Consequently, chromium help the bodybuilder lose more fat.
What is also worth mentioning is that thanks to enhanced use of amino acids, especially lysine and arginine, chromium can improve recovery. Furthermore, it helps protein production and blood transport, which will make your entire supplemental stack work even better.
Chromium is popular in joint supplement stacks for its ability to help growth and heal wounds. Therefore, those who take supplemented chromium have less chance of injury, since it constantly aids the body repair.
Other Health Benefits
One study proved that chromium can help alleviate depression linked to food cravings for carbohydrates. This is likely due to increased insulin sensitivity or 5HT2A downregulation.
There are no side effects if chromium is taken at proper dosages. If you overdose on any mineral, you can open yourself up for stomach problems, so take the correct dosage.
Chromium is found naturally in broccoli, apples, and other fruits and veggies; however, the acidic foods we consume, such as dairy and sugars, will deplete the body of essential minerals. Therefore, the general public, especially athletes (who need extra minerals), can benefit from supplementation. If taken solo, dosages of up to 35 micrograms (mcg) per day are all that you need, but as part of a supplemental stack you can run half that dose.
Where to Find
Chromium is found over the counter in vitamin shops and health food stores, and it is also popularly prescribed by eastern medicinal doctors. It works best for athletes when taken as part of a complete supplemental stack, so rather than spend a fortune buying a bunch of vitamins and compounds individually, it would make more sense to buy one supplement that contains more than a dozen ingredients. N2JointRx contains 20mcg per serving of chromium, as well as other ingredients, all of which are designed for the athlete.
Want to read about Chromium on our forums? check out these threads:
- Chromium Supplementation in Human Health, Metabolic Syndrome, and Diabetes
- A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance
- Effects of chromium supplementation on body composition, human and animal health, and insulin and glucose metabolism
- Chromium metabolism and its role in disease processes in man
- Effect of chromium supplementation on blood glucose and lipid levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus elderly patients
- Chromium does not belong in the diabetes treatment arsenal: Current evidence and future perspectives
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