What is chromium picolinate?
Chromium is an underrated mineral. It flies under the radar unbeknownst to many of us as a mineral that is essential to our diet. While a true chromium deficiency is rare, up to 90% of Americans are not consuming enough chromium in their daily diet. Given the role that chromium plays in modulating insulin and cholesterol, individuals with low chromium levels can experience increased blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The chronic elevation of these markers can lead to the development of multiple metabolic conditions, diabetes, and heart disease. Populations who are most likely to be included in that 90% with low chromium intake are the elderly, the very active, individuals who consume a high sugar diet, and women who are pregnant.
What Does Chromium Picolinate Do?
The benefits involve improved postprandial (after eating) glycemic control, fasting glucose, and insulin sensitivity. Supplementing with chromium picolinate enhances insulin sensitivity in order to more effectively transport energy into the cells. This influence on insulin may significantly impact the one in five Americans that have metabolic syndrome. For these individuals, improved insulin sensitivity and glucose control can reduce the likelihood of disease and improve overall health.
What Type of Chromium Reduces Blood Sugar?
Since chromium cannot be naturally produced by the body, we must consume it throughout our diet. There are currently at least six different forms of chromium commercially available. Please keep in mind that the dietary forms (trivalent chromium) should not be confused with the toxic by-product of stainless steel (hexavalent chromium). Chromium picolinate is a specific form of dietary (trivalent) chromium that has been shown to be the most effective and safe.
How Much Chromium Picolinate is Needed to Reduce Blood Sugar?
Chromium picolinate has been shown to be effective when consumed in doses ranging from 200-1000 ug (GOOD IDEA has 500 ug). While chromium picolinate is certainly effective on its own, it becomes even more impactful when combined with certain amino acids. The combination of chromium picolinate and the five amino acids included in GOOD IDEA (L-Leucine, L-Threonine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine) have a synergistic effect that not only reduces total blood sugar (20-30% reduction in post-prandial blood glucose), but also helps to improve energy levels, reduce cravings, and improve metabolic health.