It improves glucose sensitivity in people with Type I diabetes, type II diabetes, gestational diabetes, steroid-induced diabetes and glucose intolerance.
A study performed in China found that supplementation of 1,000 mcg per day of chromium helped relieve symptoms of type II diabetes. And because it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, it's also effective with hypoglycemia.
It enhances the action of insulin. All of the above and research studies suggests that may help with people trying to lose weight. Chromium is commonly added to weight loss supplements for this reason.
Chromium may also lower total cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while also raising levels of good HDL cholesterol. A study by Newman et al published in CLINICAL CHEMISTRY in 1978 found that people with higher blood levels of chromium are at lower risk of developing heart disease. A study by Guallar et. al. published in the American Journal of Epidemiology also found that chromium is important to cardiovascular health.
Symptoms of chromium deficiency include: a diabetic-like state, impaired growth, higher fat levels in blood, increased aortic plaque formation, and decreased fertility.
Natural sources of chromium include brewer's yeast, blackstrap molasses, black pepper, meat, whole grains, broccoli, cheese, nuts, legumes, beets and mushrooms.
Chromium supplements have chromium bound either with picolinic acid (chromium picolinate) or with niacin (chromium polynicotinate). The chromium picolinate form apparently causes DNA damage in hamsters.
200 to 400 mcg of GTF (glucose tolerant factor) seems to be enough chromium for supplementation, and should be taken in a supplement with other minerals.
Consult with your doctor if you're currently a diabetic. Chromium supplementation is not for pregnant or nursing women or epileptics.