This Form of Chromium Curbs Appetite and Shrinks Fat Cells
If you’ve ever tried to shed a few pounds, you’ve probably wished for an easy way to speed along your progress. Well, no longer is this supplement’s reputation as a weight loss aid just gossip. While diet and exercise are the only tried and true ways to maintain a healthy weight, mounting scientific evidence suggests that taking a chromium supplement may be beneficial in both losing body fat and gaining muscle.
Joint research out of the University of Florida and Louisiana State University found that daily supplementation of 1,000 mcg of chromium for eight weeks reduced food intake, hunger levels and fat cravings.
Chromium’s effect on food intake was the most amazing finding—a whooping 25% reduction in overweight women taking the supplement. To give some perspective, those taking a placebo only reduced their food intake by 8%.
When it came to controlling cravings, both groups decreased their cravings for carbohydrates, fast foods, high-fat foods and sweets over time. However, women taking the chromium decreased their cravings for high fat foods to a greater extent than women taking the placebo.
In another study, athletes engaged in a weight training program at Minnesota’s Bemidji State University, those who took a chromium supplement saw a 21 percent greater drop in body fat, and a 42 percent greater increase in muscle mass, than athletes following the same program without taking the supplement.
Niacin-Bound Chromium is What to Look For
It’s important to choose a niacin-bound form of chromium, such as chromium polynicotinate, which has been proven to be a safer, more effective form to use. Despite playing a positive role in glucose metabolism, excessive amounts of other forms of the chemical compound, do not have the same impact on fat cells.
Since chromium possesses a unique ability to shrink fat calls and maintain muscle mass, it can play a critical role in weight loss. In the fight to lose weight, excess body fat is the hardest to get rid of, since your body is designed to hold on to fat to use as an “emergency fuel” in case of famine. However, research shows that chromium can result in a significant loss of stubborn body fat, while at the same time increasing essential lean muscle mass. To get these results, you need to take about 200 mcg per day.
Outside of weight loss, chromium is used as a supplement for those with a deficiency. Most healthy individuals get adequate chromium through a normal diet. The chemical plays a role in the metabolism of glucose, and is necessary for energy production. It also works to synthesize cholesterol, fats, and proteins. Important to the production of insulin, chromium helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, beneficial both for people with hypoglycemia and diabetes.
Researchers haven’t definitively linked chromium supplementation to weight loss, however, ongoing studies continue to cast it in a favorable light. In one study of 219 people, some took a chromium supplement daily, while others took a placebo. Over a period of 72 days, the individuals taking chromium experienced greater weight loss and lean body mass gain than those who were not. However, the study was deemed inconclusive due to a high dropout rate.
In another study of twenty overweight African American women engaged in a moderate diet and exercise regime, the group taking niacin-bound chromium experienced a significant loss of fat and sparing of muscle, as compared to group taking a placebo.
If you’ve been battling the bulge, do some research into chromium supplementation. It won’t replace the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise. But it may give you the extra push you’ve been waiting for. Always consult with your doctor before starting any supplementation.