An ingredient that is often found in weight loss supplements is Chromium Picolinate. This article discusses and highlights its potential as a weight loss ingredient.
How Does Chromium Picolinate Help Weight-Loss?
Chromium picolinate is an ingredient that’s often added to weight loss supplements.
There are several different forms of chromium available to supplement manufacturers, but the picolinate version is the most popular.
There’s no great mystery about this. Manufacturers favor it because it’s the form the body finds easiest to absorb.
Some manufacturers claim chromium is a fat burner.
This idea used to be widespread but there is a lack of scientific evidence to support using chromium in this way.
However, although its merit as a fat burner is questionable, chromium can assist the weight loss process in other ways.
What Is Chromium?
Chromium is a mineral you can get by eating certain fruits and vegetables including broccoli, grapes, and potatoes. Your body needs to get adequate chromium.
Chromium deficiency can impair glucose tolerance. It can also cause neuropathy and confusion.
You may be surprised to learn, weight-loss can be a symptom of chromium deficiency as well.
Why Is Chromium Picolinate So Popular?
The body finds it hard to process chromium. Less than 2.5 percent of the chromium you digest is likely to be absorbed into the blood.
Due to the prevalence of chromium in so many different foods, unless your diet is particularly poor, you are unlikely to become chromium deficient.
However, supplement manufacturers add chromium to their products with specific goals in mind.
It’s an unviable supplement ingredient if only 2.5 percent of it will be absorbed.
Chromium picolinate is a synthetic ingredient that combines chromium with picolinic acid.
Researchers say chromium picolinate is the “most efficacious form of chromium.”
Supplements that provide 200-1,000 mcg of chromium per day (as chromium picolinate) have been shown to improve blood glucose control. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15208835/)
Why Is Chromium Important?
Chromium aids the metabolism of nutrients. It does this in an indirect way by influencing insulin.
Its relationship with insulin gives chromium value for treating diabetes.
In nondiabetic individuals, insulin helps bring sugar from the blood into the cells of the body. In diabetics, the response to insulin is impaired.
Research shows chromium supplements can help improve insulin response and blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
However, some studies present conflicting results that raise questions about the value of using chromium supplements in this way.
Overall, chromium seems to be a worthwhile option for diabetics but it may not work for every diabetic who uses it.
How Chromium Picolinate May Influence Cravings and Weight-Loss
That sounds very technical, doesn’t it? Did it get your attention?
Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition that can affect diabetics.
It can affect non-diabetics too but it’s believed to be more common in people who are overweight.
Undergoing gastric bypass surgery may make you more likely to succumb to reactive hypoglycemia as well.
Reactive hypoglycemia appears to occur as a response to insulin levels becoming too high after meals that are high in carbohydrates.
The exact dynamics of the condition are not completely clear.
However, when blood sugar levels become too high, the pancreas starts pumping out extra insulin to bring the blood sugar level back down.
That’s normal. It’s one of the things the pancreas is meant to do.
In the case of reactive hypoglycemia, the pancreas pumps out too much insulin.
In so doing, it overcompensates, causing the blood sugar level to “crash” and become too low.
This presents an unusual scenario. When the blood sugar level falls too low, the brain responds by initiating cravings for sugar or high carbohydrate foods.
Foods of this type can be very good for bringing blood sugar levels back up again.
However, in the case of reactive hypoglycemia, the stomach is already full. There is no genuine requirement for extra calories.
Giving in to carb cravings may resolve the situation by bringing blood sugar levels back up again but the body will be getting extra calories it does not need.
This can, of course, result in weight gain.
Supplement manufacturers add chromium picolinate to their weight nloss formulations to prevent this type of scenario from happening.
Chromium Picolinate and Weight Loss: A Closer Look at the Research
Chromium Picolinate appears to offer the most value as a compound for reducing hunger and cravings. Several studies specifically examine its ability to do this.
The results of some studies show the ingredient helps prevent people from binge-eating or comfort eating due to depression.
The results are predominantly good and doses of 600 to 1,000 μg per day appear to offer the most value.
In another study, that ran for eight weeks, chromium picolinate (1,000 μg per day) proved effective for reducing hunger and cravings in healthy, overweight women. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18715218/)
Losing weight becomes a more bearable process if you can avoid cravings and keep your hunger under control.
Chromium picolinate appears to help some people to do this so it is an ingredient that has value in weight management supplements.
However, the effect of chromium on overall weight loss is likely to be negligible.
Researchers at the University of Oxford analyzed the data from 11 studies and discovered supplementing with chromium only produced a weight loss of 1.1 pounds in 8-26 weeks. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23495911/)
How Does Chromium Picolinate Help Weight Loss – Bottom Line
Chromium picolinate provides the body with chromium in an easily accessible form. As a chromium provider, it’s the top dog.
Research suggests taking supplements that provide chromium picolinate is unlikely to have a dramatic effect on your level of weight loss.
However, the ingredient may support the efforts you are making through a low-calorie diet by helping you avoid cravings.
This will make the weight-loss process more bearable. By helping you to avoid giving in to cravings it will also give you a better chance of success.
Chromium picolinate certainly has value as a diet pill ingredient.
It’s important not to lose sight of the fact diet pills contain a variety of ingredients.
Some of them, such as green tea and capsicum, offer the most value as fat burners. Others, like glucomannan and nopal provide hunger control.
Different ingredients support weight loss in different ways.
Like a football team, the best diet pills contain a variety of key players, each of which has a role to play in helping “the team” become a winner.
Ingredients that suppress appetite and cravings are the unsung heroes that prevent extra calories from getting through by playing such an important role in defense.