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What benefits does chromium picolinate offer?

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Quick Answer

Chromium picolinate has uses in alternative medicine that include chromium deficiencies, weight loss, to control blood glucose levels in diabetics and lower cholesterol levels. The use of this supplement for these medical conditions does not have the approval of the U.S. Foods and Drug Administration, states Drugs.com. However, there are some research studies that suggest that chromium supplementation may aid in the lowering of blood glucose levels in diabetics, as noted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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Full Answer

Chromium picolinate is a form of the mineral chromium. This mineral plays an important function in the body because it works with the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Another function of chromium is for metabolizing nutrients, such as fats and carbohydrates, as noted by Dr. Weil.

Because people can get adequate amounts of this mineral through diet, a chromium deficiency may be rare in Americans. However, the very elderly and pregnant females may have a chromium deficiency. Deficiencies in chromium can lead to high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose levels, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.

To avoid a chromium deficiency, it is important to get the recommended daily allowance of chromium either through diet or supplementation, which comes in a form like chromium picolinate. The recommended daily allowance for adult males who are 19 to 50 years of age is 35 micrograms, and it is 25 micrograms for adult women in this same age range. Pregnant and lactating women require a higher dose.

In terms of using this supplement for the medical conditions cited, such as the lowering of blood glucose levels, more clinical trials or studies are necessary to evaluate this supplements true effectiveness for these conditions.

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