Chromium, insulin, and stable blood sugar
Stable blood sugar is particularly important if you want to lose weight and/or maintain your ideal weight.
Firstly, it is recommended to consume protein-rich and healthy main meals.
Secondly, it is good to be familiar with insulin and chromium, two nutrients that have important roles in the carbohydrate metabolism.
The hormone insulin and the mineral chromium work as a team
Insulin is produced in the pancreas and works by helping into the cells decomposed carbohydrates in the form of blood sugar (glucose). It is somewhat similar to the way a key works in a lock. Chromium, an essential trace element, helps activate the “insulin key”, whereby cells are sure to get the glucose they need for their energy turnover.
When you consume white bread, French fries, cookies, soft drinks and other high-GI carbohydrates, it causes your blood sugar levels to plummet. At the same time, you may lose as much as 20% of the chromium in your blood. This helps explain why people with fluctuating blood sugar levels and diabetes often lack chromium.
Chromium helps regulate your blood sugar levels, so you optimize your energy optimally
If you have too little chromium in your blood, your pancreas is forced to step up its production of insulin. In the long run, the elevated insulin production may lead to insulin resistance, which is a very common problem. This makes it difficult for sugar to enter the cells because of an impaired ability to activate the “insulin key” that unlocks the cells. This also helps explain why people with insulin resistance often have difficulty with achieving satiety after a meal, as only part of the carbohydrates they consume are turned into energy inside the cells. It may easily become a vicious cycle with constant hunger, fatigue, and weight problems.
Too little chromium and elevated insulin levels set the stage for overweight, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes
Elevated insulin levels result in excess blood sugar being stored as fat, typically in the abdominal region. There is also a risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a combination of insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, hypertension, and elevated levels of blood lipids). Metabolic syndrome is rather common and is an early stage of type 2 diabetes.
Natural chromium sources:
Mushrooms, beans, lentils, whole grain, brewer’s yeast, black pepper, nuts, and apricot
Deficiencies are caused by:
Lack of chromium in the soil, a large intake of sugar or other refined foods, alcohol, coffee, and other stimulants, a lack of vitamin C and fiber, and being pregnant.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) level for chromium differs
In Denmark, for instance, it is 50 micrograms, while it is 200 micrograms in the United States.
EFSA recommends chromium yeast on behalf of a comparison of different chromium sources
EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has stated that organic chromium yeast is absorbed up to 10 times better than synthetic chromium sources like chromium chloride and chromium picolinate.