Health Benefits of Chromium Picolinate
The health benefits of chromium picolinate for type 2 diabetes are very noteworthy. Chromium picolinate is a reddish-pink trace mineral that is essential for energy metabolism. The body needs chromium to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. So, when an excessive amount of sugars or carbohydrates are consumed regularly, it depletes the body of chromium. Since most people eat (or use to eat) way more carbohydrates than the body requires, it creates (or has created) a chromium deficiency that leads to insulin resistance.
With that said, some of the most beneficial health benefits of chromium picolinate has to do with carbohydrate and sugar metabolism. Therefore, chromium picolinate and type 2 diabetes can be a good combination for blood glucose control. However, the chromium picolinate dosage for type 2 diabetes will vary greatly from person to person. It is best to consult a physician if you do not know how to reduce your insulin intake as needed to prevent low blood sugar levels that this supplement can create without a proper reduction in insulin or other blood sugar lowering medications. So, without any further ado, let’s get to the health benefits of chromium picolinate.
Photo Credit: S.B. Harris
1. Decreases Insulin Resistance
The body produces insulin in a person with type 2 diabetes. The dilemma in a person with type 2 diabetes is that the cells are not receptive to the insulin produced. As a result, insulin cannot aid in the removal of the excess sugars in the bloodstream for energy production inside the cells. Chromium picolinate and type 2 diabetes are a good combination. Chromium decreases insulin resistance by promoting insulin receptivity. Without enough chromium, cells can start resisting the insulin cell communication. Meaning, the cells do not allow sugar inside for energy production to take place. This is called insulin resistance. If the sugar cannot enter the cells to do its job, it remains in the bloodstream causing high blood sugar levels.
2. Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
With an increased receptivity to insulin, blood sugar levels can be better stabilized. If the cells are more receptive to insulin, more sugar will be allowed inside the cells with less sugar remaining in the blood. Therefore, another one of the health benefits of chromium picolinate is that is can stabilize blood sugar levels.
3. Decrease Carb & Sugar Cravings
When sugar enters the cell, blood sugar levels stabilize and energy production can take place. On the other hand, when energy production is low, the body sends a major “feed me” signal to the brain that triggers hunger. When insulin receptivity is hindered, this signal will stay in place because energy production will be low as long as sugar cannot enter the cells to carry out energy production. So, another one of the health benefits of chromium picolinate is that is will decrease your cravings for sugar and carbs.
4. Can Aid Weight Loss Efforts
With chromium decreasing your carb and sugar cravings, you will have much better appetite control. When your body is not craving sugar, you will want to eat less and as a result you will lose weight. It is in this way that chromium can aid your low carb diet weight loss efforts. ***Keep in mind that the keto diet is not the same as a traditional low carb diet. When a person is on a keto diet, their body transitions to burning fats for energy. So, a person on a keto diet is not using sugar for energy metabolism. When a person is on a traditional low carb diet, their body is still using sugar and carbs for energy production.
Dosage For Type 2 Diabetes
A good chromium picolinate dosage for type 2 diabetes will vary from person to person. Chromium picolinate will lower your blood sugar levels. So, caution must be taken to avoid an extremely low blood sugar. An extremely low blood sugar can come on suddenly leading to mental confusion, weakness and collapse. This can be an immediately life-threatening situation that should be avoided. Real sugar is what counteracts a low blood sugar. Please consult with a physician before adding this regime to your diabetes management program.
If you are on a diet to reverse type 2 diabetes without medication, you may only need a small daily dose of chromium picolinate to restore your depleted supply of chromium. You should not need a high therapeutic dose of chromium picolinate as discussed next.
According to WebMD, a person with type 2 diabetes can take up to 1,000 mcg per day. This therapeutic dose of chromium picolinate should be divided into three doses and taken throughout the day for sustained blood sugar management. This is recommended dose range for someone on a lower carb diet, not the keto diet.
Remember that diet and then exercise are the primary and secondary ways to control blood sugar levels in a person with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, your required dose will depend on your diet first, then the your level of activity throughout the day, and insulin production. If you are currently taking insulin or some other blood sugar lowering medication or supplement, you may require less insulin to achieve the same blood sugar control with chromium picolinate.