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Types of food that contains Chromium

Chromium-enriched Yeast - A Natural Source of Organic Chromium

TABLE OF CONTENT

1. Sources of Chromium

  • Food
  • Dietary Supplement

2. Chromium Yeast Absorbed up to 10 Times Better
3. Chromium and Health

  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Weight Loss

4. Chromium has Synergistic Effect with Other Supplements

Chromium is an essential trace element plays an important role in glucose metabolism and lipid metabolism in human body. It enhances the action of insulin and for this reason low chromium levels in the body are associated with many conditions like sugar cravings, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, glucose intolerance, type II diabetes, elevated cholesterol, atherosclerosis and overweight. All are increasingly prevalent conditions.

Sources of Chromium

  • Food

Chromium is present in many foods, including meats, grain products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, brewer’s yeast, beer, and wine. However, chromium amounts in these foods vary widely depending on local soil and water conditions as well as agricultural and manufacturing processes used to produce them.

Most dairy products and foods high in sugar (e.g., sucrose and fructose) are low in chromium. Human milk contains about 0.25 mcg/L chromium, but reported values vary widely. Small studies in Europe found chromium concentrations ranging from 0.14 to 10.8 mcg/L.

Dietary chromium absorption is low, ranging from about 0.4 to 2.5%. This is why chromium supplementation is an increasingly important issue.

  • Dietary supplements

Most multivitamin/mineral supplements contain chromium, typically 35–120 mcg. Supplements containing only chromium are also available, and they commonly provide 200 mcg to 500 mcg chromium, although some contain up to 1,000 mcg.

Dietary supplements contain many forms of chromium, including chromium picolinate, chromium nicotinate, chromium polynicotinate, chromium chloride, and chromium histidinate. The absorption of various forms of chromium is similar. For example, research suggests that the proportion of chromium absorbed from chromium picolinate is about 1.2%, whereas that from chromium chloride is about 0.4%. These values are similar to the proportion of chromium absorbed from food.

The problem with chromium is that it has a generally low bioavailability, which makes the question of which form of supplemental chromium has the best bioavailability very relevant.

Chromium Yeast Absorbed up to 10 Times Better

In 2014 the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA examined the absorbability of a number of chromium compounds and concluded that the absorbability is quite low, i.e. 0.1% to about 2%. There are two particular issues, that surprise in the EFSA evaluation. One is the low absorption of chromium from our food of 0.5% to 3%, which is only slightly better than the absorption from inorganic supplements. The second surprise is that chromium from chromium enriched brewer's yeast is absorbed up to 10 times better than inorganic chromium compounds like e.g. chromium chloride.

Based on EFSA's data, the various forms of chromium can be ranked as follows:

  1. Chromium yeast
  2. Dietary chromium (an uncharacterised combination of inorganic and organic forms)
  3. Organic chromium
  4. Inorganic chromium salts

Chromium and Health

  • Diabetes

Some studies suggest that chromium supplements may help people with diabetes control blood sugar levels. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin -- a hormone needed to change sugar, starches and other food into energy -- or cannot use the insulin that their bodies make. Chromium may lower blood sugar levels as well, improving glucose tolerance and reducing the amount of insulin needed. Some research suggests that responses to chromium supplementation may vary, and supplements might be more likely to benefit people with more severe insulin resistance and poorer glycemic control. 

  • High Cholesterol

Numerous studies show associations between poor chromium status and elevated blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, scientists hypothesize that chromium supplementation might improve blood lipid levels. Studies have examined this possibility in various populations, including people with impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes, or Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

  • Weight Loss

Because chromium might amplify insulin action, some scientists have proposed that chromium supplementation could reduce the amount of glucose converted to fat and increase muscle mass. Some preliminary research also indicates that chromium supplements might reduce food intakes, hunger levels, and fat cravings. Therefore, chromium supplementation has been proposed to both enhance weight loss and improve body composition by decreasing body fat and increasing lean body mass; its effects on these outcomes have been evaluated in several clinical trials.

Chromium has Synergistic Effect with Other Supplements

Often you can enhance the effect of chromium by combining it with other substances. For example, chromium combined with magnesium is able to decrease insulin resistance more than both substances taken separately.  Zinc supplementation has beneficial effects on glycemic control and may be advantageously combined with chromium.

Reference:

Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for chromium. (online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3845 [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

Dietary Chromium Intake. (online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02784595. [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

Current Concepts About Chromium Supplementation In Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin Resistance. (online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-010-0097-3. [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

Effects Of Diets High In Simple Sugars On Urinary Chromium Losses (online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/0026-0495(86)90007-7. [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

New Evidence Against Chromium As An Essential Trace Element (online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.255901. [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

Effects Of Chromium Picolinate On Food Intake And Satiety (online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.1089/dia.2007.0292. [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

Office Of Dietary Supplements – Chromium. (online) Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Chromium-HealthProfessional/. [Accessed on 14 Jul. 2021]

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