Health and Beauty

Key trace element for health and metabolism

Have you ever heard of chromium, a rare element that is often overlooked? Although it is found in very small amounts in the body, it plays a crucial role in our health and metabolism. In this article, I will explain in detail the benefits of chromium for your health, especially with regard to regulating insulin, the thyroid gland, and weight loss. You will also discover its importance for athletes and the best dietary sources of chromium. Are you ready to become familiar with this essential mineral?

Chromium, an essential trace element

The role of chromium in the body

Chromium is a trace element involved in many metabolic reactions. It is mainly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, by facilitating the action of insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which allows our cells to use blood glucose as an energy source.

Daily chromium requirements

Chromium requirements vary depending on age, gender, and health status. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an adult should consume between 20 and 45 micrograms of chromium per day. Requirements may be slightly higher for athletes, due to the increased demand on their metabolism.

Chromium deficiency: signs and consequences

Chromium deficiency is rare, because our body needs very small amounts of it. However, it can occur in the case of intestinal malabsorption, excessive consumption of refined sugars, or unbalanced diets. Symptoms of chromium deficiency include persistent fatigue, mood disturbances, poor blood sugar management, and increased insulin resistance. In the long term, chromium deficiency can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Which chromium supplements to buy?

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Health benefits of chromium

The benefits of chromium are diverse and cover a wide range of health conditions. Here are some of the main benefits:

Type 2 diabetes

Chromium plays an important role in insulin regulation, which means it helps insulin work properly in the body. For people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is often less effective at lowering blood sugar, which can lead to long-term complications. studies(1) Show that chromium supplements can improve insulin sensitivity and help better manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These factors include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) and insulin resistance. . Research(2) It suggests that chromium supplements may help improve some of these risk factors, including improving insulin sensitivity and reducing triglyceride levels.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age, characterized by enlarged ovaries that contain many small cysts. Women with PCOS often experience insulin resistance, which can lead to menstrual irregularities, fertility problems, and other complications. studies(3) Show that chromium supplements can improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate menstrual cycles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Dyslipidemia

Dyslipidemia is an imbalance of lipids (fats) in the blood, including high levels of total cholesterol, LDL (“bad” cholesterol), and triglycerides. Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Research(4) Show that chromium supplements can help improve lipid levels by lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels, and increasing HDL levels.

Lose weight

Chromium is often found in nutritional supplements intended to promote weight loss. In fact, it can help reduce appetite and sugar cravings, by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Some research(5) Studies suggest that chromium supplements may help reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass, especially when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise training.

Chromium and athletes

improve the performance

Chromium can be beneficial for athletes because it is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which are essential sources of energy during physical exertion. In addition, it improves insulin sensitivity, which can improve glucose utilization by muscles and thus support athletic performance.

Recovery and injury prevention

Chromium may also play a role in post-exercise recovery and injury prevention. This is because it promotes protein synthesis, which can help repair exercise-induced muscle damage and prevent exercise-related injuries.

Chromium sources

Foods rich in chromium

Chromium is found naturally in a variety of foods. The richest sources of chromium include:

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas);
  • Whole grains (wholemeal bread, brown rice, quinoa);
  • Fruits and vegetables (broccoli, potatoes, spinach, peppers);
  • lean meats (turkey, chicken, beef);
  • Dairy products (cheese, yogurt);
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, flax seeds).
food Chromium per 100 grams (in mg)
Brewer's yeast 220
mussels 128
Brazil nuts 100
Oysters 57
Calf liver 43
Dried dates 29
pears 27
Shrimp 26
tomatoes 20
Broccoli 16
Mushrooms 17
Source Anas

By consuming these foods regularly, you can ensure an adequate intake of chromium to support your health and metabolism.

supplement

Most chromium supplements contain chromium picolinate, a form of chromium bound to picolinic acid that facilitates chromium absorption in the body.

What to remember

Chromium is a true ally of our health and well-being, even if it is often neglected in our eating habits. Its benefits are many and varied, ranging from insulin regulation to thyroid function, including weight loss and athletic performance.

Key trace element for health and metabolism

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