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Is Chromium Beneficial?

One of the components of the SP nutraceuticals is chromium.  Why did we formulate our products with chromium as a component?

Chromium is a mineral our bodies use in small amounts for normal body functions, such as digesting food. Chromium exists in many natural foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially the skins), cheeses, molasses, spices, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Drinking hard tap water supplies chromium to the body, and cooking in stainless-steel cookware increases the chromium content in foods.

There are some studies that show that chromium is very helpful with glucose metabolism.  The mechanism of action includes maximizing insulin’s function in allowing glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter the cells.  However, there are some studies that dispute the effectiveness of chromium for diabetes control.

Concerning “weight loss” many chromium products claim that the mineral increases body muscle composition while reducing percentage body fat.  When the literature is reviewed thoroughly, you will have a difficult time backing up these claims.  I cannot find many valid, comprehensive studies that demonstrate that chromium alone will promote weight loss without other interventions.

The bottom line:  We place chromium in the Serotonin-Plus supplements because peer-reviewed data shows a beneficial glucose/insulin impact and most of our patients have either pre-diabetes or diabetes (defined as a hemoglobin A1C over 5.6).  If someone does not have prediabetes, chromium will not lead to low blood sugar episodes (hypoglycemia).

Similar to any mineral, Vitamin or prescription medication, “weight loss” will not occur by simply taking a “pill”.  Behavioral modification and life-style changes are absolute requirements for long-term weight control success.  Chromium, although beneficial, is by no means a “magic” ingredient.

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