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Chromium Picolinate: Dietary Supplement
Chromium is an essential trace element and a crucial mineral that is all around us: in the air, water, soil and food products. Chromium plays an important role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, but it is not produced in the body and hence it is required to be taken in small amounts via diet on a regular basis.
Some of the key sources of chromium include nuts, green beans, broccoli, wholegrain cereals, egg, shellfish, certain fruits, and vegetables. Chromium deficiency is not very common due to the fact that it is present widely in a variety of food products, making it possibly easier to consume an appreciable amount on a daily basis. However, absorption of chromium in the intestines is very low, with less than 2.5% of ingested chromium being absorbed, resulting in diminished availability of this vital mineral.
Forms of Chromium:
There are two forms of chromium, namely:
- Trivalent, and
- Hexavalent Chromium
Trivalent Chromium is biologically active and safe for human consumption, It is found in foods and supplements while Hexavalent Chromium is toxic to human life and may cause liver and skin disorders, resulting from industrial waste.
Supplementing with Chromium
Chromium is required by the body to keep itself in the best of health. However, at times the need of chromium in the body rises or the basic need is left unfulfilled due to poor absorption, increased demand or inadequate intake of chromium making it explicit to rely on chromium supplementation.
Chromium Picolinate is a chemical compound that is available commercially as a Chromium supplement in the form of pills and powder and is widely consumed by health and fitness seekers.
Chromium Picolinate provides key health benefits, some of which are:
- Enhance the action of insulin.
- Boost muscle mass.
- Promotes weight loss
- Intensify carb, protein and fat metabolism.
Like most drugs, supplements have a tendency to interact with other substances or nutrients. Chromium Picolinate interferes with the absorption of thyroid medication, hence to avoid this, Thyroid medication should be taken at least 3-4 hours before/after Chromium Supplementation. Apart from this, Pregnant or lactating mothers are always advised to consult their health-care provider while on Chromium supplementation to avoid any possibility of drug-supplement interaction, which may later prove fetal.
Is Chromium Supplementation Safe?
There is no RDA set for Chromium consumption as it is required in extremely minute amounts. However, an adequate and safe intake daily in adults ranges from 50-200 micrograms. In order to analyze one’s dosage, it is best to consult a nutritionist/health-care provider to avoid overdosage or self-supplementation. There is possibly no side-effect of chromium supplementation when consumed under proper supervision.
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