Chromium Picolinate is rapidly gaining popularity as a so-called ‘miracle mineral’, displaying a wide variety of beneficial health effects and hinting at many more as yet undiscovered.
Chromium Picolinate – Much needed mineral
The ‘picolinate’ aspect of chromium picolinate is essentially just a way to increase the absorption rate of chromium, which is the active ingredient, and therefore boosts its efficiency and effectiveness in much the same was as chelated minerals are preferable to regular mineral salts due to their ability to be absorbed more readily by the body.
Boost up insulin in the body
Chromium picolinate is marketed as a weight loss supplement primarily, and is known to work by boosting the effectiveness of insulin in the body, which dramatically increases the rate at which sugar and fat are metabolized.
It is believed that chromium picolinate achieves this by stimulating the insulin receptors, essentially boosting their sensitivity.
This in turn leads to more fat reserves being burned to compensate for the extra energy being used, and therefore a net weight loss.
Some scientists have also observed that this increase in the activity of insulin may stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, which is responsible for appetite suppression amongst other things.
Meaning that chromium picolinate not only makes you burn calories faster, it also makes you less hungry.
As fat regulator
Further studies have uncovered the possibility that chromium picolinate acts as a fat regulator, meaning that it actively prevents the body from creating and storing excess fat.
Or that it may stimulate increased protein synthesis, leading to greater muscle gain and therefore a faster metabolism.
Used for body building
Another use for chromium picolinate is as a bodybuilding supplement, with advocates claiming that it can contribute to increased strength and support the development of lean muscle mass.
It is marketed as a safe and effective alternative to steroids.
Research into the possible role of chromium picolinate in increasing protein synthesis would seem to support these claims, as such a role would enable increased muscle mass gain providing the intensity of the workout was sufficiently high and enough microtrauma was created in the muscles to stimulate a suitable strong adaptation response.
Helps to burn fat and build body
This would mean that it would basically have the double action of reducing fat stores while promoting and supporting lean muscle mass gain – bodybuilding in a nutshell, no wonder the supplement is proving so popular.
This would be of particular interest to those whose goal was not only to lose weight, but also to transform the shape of their bodies.
Some bodybuilding formulas combine it with other popular supplements including L-carnitine and guarana, the theory being that these various supplements will support and improve each others’ actions in the same way that vitamins and minerals often work in synergy in the human body.
Effectiveness of Chromium Picolinate
Since it is one hundred percent natural, it is used in a variety of over-the-counter weight loss products, including herbal teas and other preparations.
One of the reasons why chromium picolinate may be so effective as a weight loss supplement is that the natural levels of chromium in the diet of the average person have decreased markedly in recent years.
Chromium, as has been mentioned, plays an important role in the maintenance of insulin levels and is also utilized in the transfer of glucose across cell membranes.
The reduction in chromium levels in our diets may have caused us collectively to be more susceptible to gaining weight than our ancestors were, a situation which chromium supplementation may help to reverse.
Chromium picolinate is taken by many tens of thousands of people daily, who swear by its safety and effectiveness as an all-natural product.
However, a minority of people may experience side-effects as a result of taking chromium picolinate, in which case the supplement should be discontinued immediately and medical advice sought.
Some of the reported side-effects of chromium picolinate are dizziness and temporary visual impairment, so you should not take the supplement for the first time right before you have to drive or operate heavy machinery, just to be sure.
Chromium picolinate is recommended as a weight loss supplement for those who particularly wish to lose fat and gain muscle, because its action lends itself strongly to being combined with regular exercise, and especially weightlifting and body building, which will substantially increase the effectiveness of the product.