chromium picolinate for weight loss

What is Chromium Picolinate and is it good for weight loss?

August 4. 2021

When we’re trying to lose weight, we typically focus on a diet of choice and regular physical activity. And although a duo of a healthy diet and an exercise regimen is always beneficial, sometimes it’s simply not enough. The reason for a weight plateau can often be found on a cellular level, which is not something we regularly think about. One of those reasons is a chromium deficiency. 

Chromium is an essential mineral, and although our bodies can’t produce it, we need it in trace amounts to ensure the proper breakdown of carbs, fats, and protein. If a deficiency occurs, our bodies can’t stabilize blood sugar levels, which can then cause insulin resistance, and eventually, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Small amounts of chromium can be found in certain types of food (for example, lean meat, broccoli, whole grains, beans, etc.), but due to depleted soils and over-processed foods, we can’t rely on these food sources to get the amounts of chromium we need. It’s also challenging to determine a chromium deficiency since the quantities we need are so small – they’re simply not measurable. To ensure you get the right amount of this mineral in your system, you may consider supplementing with chromium picolinate. Chromium picolinate is essentially chromium in a form that our bodies can easily absorb. If you’re looking to find out how you can use chromium picolinate for weight loss, here’s what you need to know.

The importance of chromium in your body

For instance, let’s briefly go through the process of glucose metabolism. When you eat food, your digestive system breaks it down and turns it into glucose. The glucose is then sent into the bloodstream, traveling until it reaches the cells throughout the body. Glucose is our primary fuel, but it can’t supply your cells without the help of insulin and chromium. Think of it this way: the glucose travels through your bloodstream and gets to a cell. It can’t enter the cell by itself, so it stays at the door of the cell.
Meanwhile, your pancreas releases insulin and sends it to the bloodstream. The insulin then binds with chromium and opens the door for glucose to enter a cell. This process happens for each cell in your body, so it’s already clear how vital chromium is. Without it, the glucose continues flowing through your bloodstream, your pancreas keeps producing insulin, and your blood sugar levels rise. If this process becomes a repeating cycle, you can end up suffering from several consequences. The excess glucose flowing in your bloodstream can damage blood vessels and nerves and cause several diseases. Enough chromium in your system can prevent the following:

  • Age-related mental decline, 
  • Metabolic syndrome,
  • Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes,
  • PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Bipolar disorder,
  • Heart attacks, etc.

Chromium picolinate for weight loss

Now that we’ve covered the overall importance of chromium, we can get to the subject of chromium picolinate for weight loss. Chromium picolinate has become a popular dietary supplement among bodybuilders and athletes who use it to maintain muscle mass while training and promote fat loss. If you’re working out or are in a calorie deficit, it’s natural for your body to use up both your muscle mass and the stored fat to make those pounds on your scale go down. However, decreased muscles lead to a decrease in your metabolic function, which is not a sacrifice you should be making. Introducing a chromium supplement may be beneficial to accompany a healthy diet and a workout regimen. Another way chromium picolinate works for weight loss is the above-explained glucose metabolism process. By keeping your blood sugar levels low and stable, you will ensure your cells get enough energy from the food and prevent sudden feelings of hunger, which may furthermore reduce your appetite (Here’s what you need to know on how do appetite suppressants work). Simply put, enough chromium in your system helps your bodywork and stay at its peak by ensuring it absorbs and maintains all the essential nutrients. You can ensure those adequate levels of chromium by getting a Lipo-Ignite© shot.

Chromium picolinate and FDA approval

In 2005, after Nutrition 21 (a company that sells chromium picolinate under the name Chromax) petitioned for a qualified health claim regarding their product, the FDA recognized it as safe and issued a favorable response agreeing that chromium picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and, furthermore, the risk of type 2 diabetes. Since then, this firm holds patent rights for these applications. This FDA approval, however, doesn’t mean that chromium picolinate should be used at personal discretion. Determining a chromium deficiency is a complex task, and a non-specialist shouldn’t do it. Moreover, the availability of chromium picolinate supplements that are not regulated and licensed brings a risk of chromium overdosing. That’s why it’s essential to talk to a doctor or an experienced medical physician before taking this supplement. 

Final thoughts

Chromium picolinate supplements have been shown to work well to prevent and, in some cases, even reverse insulin resistance, which is often a precursor to several diseases. How chromium picolinate works for weight loss remains a partially unanswered question, but studies are being conducted as we speak to determine the exact relationship between chromium and weight loss. Many bodybuilders and athletes praise this supplement for helping them lose fat while maintaining their muscle mass. Cases of people losing weight shortly after introducing chromium picolinate into their diets have been reported. Still, it’s essential to consult a medical professional prior to taking chromium picolinate for weight loss. If you’re seeking additional information regarding this subject, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Chicago weight loss clinic.

Nurse Walton

Author

Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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