- Chromium is a trace mineral that assists in the completion of routine bodily functions, such as digesting food and moving glucose into cells.
- Liquid chromium greatly benefits most people suffering suffering from increased insulin resistance due to diseases like type 2 diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Studies have found that chromium picolinate absorbs slightly faster than other types of chromium.
Liquid Chromium Supplement
Chromium is one of many trace minerals that are essential to the overall health and wellness of the human body. It assists in the completion of routine bodily functions, such as digesting food and moving glucose (blood sugar) into cells. In fact, its effect on insulin sensitivity is one of several reasons people may seek out a chromium supplement. There is significant evidence to indicate that chromium helps cells respond more readily to insulin, a hormone that brings glucose into the cells (1). Glucose is necessary for providing cells with energy. Anyone suffering from increased insulin resistance due to diseases like type 2 diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may need these liquid chromium benefits more than others, as healthy amounts of this micronutrient can be helpful in keeping blood sugar levels under control (2).
Recent clinical research has also begun to consider the effects of chromium on cholesterol, heart disease, weight loss, and muscle gain, but the results are not as substantial as the evidence supporting chromium’s ability to increase insulin sensitivity. Studies have shown that while chromium supplements may result in slight reduction of body weight or body fat percentage, it is not a significant enough reduction to warrant chromium’s use as a weight loss supplement. Rather, you should aim to have the correct amounts of chromium in your body simply to assist with normal bodily functions and promote insulin sensitivity, if needed. As always, consult with your physician before adding any supplements, including chromium, to your daily routine.
As with other vitamins and minerals, a liquid chromium supplement will be the most readily absorbed by the bloodstream in place of tablets, capsules, and gummies, bypassing the need to be digested before your body can access the full dosage. Certain types of chromium also result in increased absorption rates, which we will discuss in the next section, so stay tuned to find out how to make the most of your chromium supplements and ensure your body always has enough of this vital nutrient.
So, what is chromium picolinate? Well, chromium itself comes in a few different forms. The type of chromium that occurs naturally in foods and that your body needs on a daily basis is known as trivalent chromium, not to be confused with hexavalent chromium, a toxic byproduct of certain manufacturing processes. Trivalent chromium is the type of chromium that appears in supplements and is both safe and essential to the body. It also appears in various forms, including chromium picolinate and chromium polynicotinate (chromium GTF). When debating chromium GTF vs chromium picolinate, your choice may depend on your priorities when it comes to supplements. If you want the fastest and most efficiently absorbed option, then chromium picolinate may be the better option for you, as studies have found it to absorb slightly faster than its counterparts (3).
As we mentioned in the previous section, you may consider taking chromium picolinate for diabetes assistance or to increase insulin sensitivity overall. As far as a chromium picolinate dosage for weight loss, the results are equally as unsure for this specific type of chromium as for chromium overall, so it is not likely that chromium picolinate supplements will result in any significant loss of body fat. There are little to no chromium picolinate dangers, as the mineral is usually present only in very small amounts in both foods and supplements. And, if you find yourself more interested in chromium picolinate foods rather than supplements, read on to learn about 10 foods that naturally contain high amounts of chromium.
Top 10 Chromium Foods
There are tons of different chromium-rich foods available across all kinds of food groups. So, no matter what your preferences are, there should be at least one for everyone! One popular example of chromium rich herbs in particular appears in the form of dried garlic, which can be easily added to most dishes for a boost of both flavor and chromium intake. Below, we have provided a list of the top 10 chromium foods in terms of how much chromium they offer per serving (4):
- Grape juice (1 cup) - 7.5 mcg
- Ham (3 ounces) - 3.6 mcg
- Whole wheat English muffin - 3.6 mcg
- Brewer’s yeast (1 tablespoon) - 3.3 mcg
- Orange juice (1 cup) - 2.2 mcg
- Beef (3 ounces) - 2.0 mcg
- Lettuce (5 ounces) - 1.8 mcg
- Tomato juice (1 cup) - 1.5 mcg
- Medium apple with peel - 1.4 mcg
- Green beans (½ cup) - 1.1 mcg
Since we mentioned the benefits of chromium along with magnesium, you may also be wondering about foods rich in chromium and magnesium both. Some examples of chromium and magnesium foods include items made with whole grains and legumes such as green beans.
Can You Take Chromium And Magnesium Together
Since low magnesium levels are sometimes associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, a frequently asked question when it comes to supplements for diabetes patients is “Can you take chromium and magnesium together?” Research indicates that there are no known harmful interactions between chromium and magnesium, but you should always consult with your physician or healthcare provider before taking any kind of supplement (5). At the moment, there is not a combined chromium and magnesium supplement available on its own, although these two micronutrients are often found together in multivitamins.
Taking magnesium and chromium for diabetes together may have better results than taking one or the other of these nutrients alone. A study conducted in 2016 found that supplementing people who suffered from insulin resistance with both chromium and magnesium improved insulin resistance more efficiently than supplementing with just one or the other (6). This may be of interest to anyone who experiences insulin resistance due to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.
Chromium Deficiency Symptoms
Chromium deficiency causes mainly include not consuming enough chromium in the foods you eat. However, since the amount of chromium needed for your body to run smoothly each day is a relatively small amount, most people are able to get enough of this important nutrient from their normal diets. For this reason, chromium deficiencies are uncommon in people who are considered to be generally healthy, but they can still occur when not enough chromium-rich foods are regularly consumed. On average, the people who are more at risk for developing a chromium deficiency are those who suffer from diabetes and the elderly.
Due to the effect of chromium on insulin sensitivity, chromium deficiency symptoms may sometimes mimic the symptoms of diabetes. Such symptoms may include weight loss, impaired glucose tolerance, neuropathy, anxiety, fatigue and muscle weakness (7). Chromium deficiency treatment typically includes eating more chromium-rich foods or taking a chromium supplement, but you should always consult with your physician before starting any treatment plans on your own.
Chromium Excess Symptoms
On the opposite end of the spectrum from chromium deficiency are chromium excess symptoms. Since the amount of chromium present in both supplements and foods is often relatively small, it is difficult to overdose on this particular nutrient. As long as you make sure you align with the recommended daily amount of chromium, your body should not experience adverse effects. A range from 24 mcg to 35 mcg is how much chromium per day a typical adult body needs. Depending on pre-existing health conditions like type 2 diabetes, other diseases that impact insulin sensitivity, and kidney or liver disease, your chromium intake needs may vary. It is in your best interest to always consult with a physician before starting to take any kind of supplement, including chromium.
Chromium supplement side effects, though very uncommon unless the supplement is taken in excess, may include irregular heartbeats, sleep disturbances, headaches, mood changes, and allergic reactions (8). Use extra caution when taking any supplements alongside another type of medication, like diabetes medication, and only do so under the instruction of your healthcare provider.
Best Chromium Supplement
The best chromium supplement for you depends on your unique situation as well as what you are looking for in a supplement. If you feel that your body is not receiving enough chromium on a daily basis, then you may be interested in boosting your intake with the addition of a supplement. While there are plenty of individual chromium supplements available to select, one of the best ways to increase your chromium levels along with your levels of other essential vitamins and minerals is to take a multivitamin.
If you’re interested in supplements for the whole family that contain no additives at all, consider trying Better Family’s Liquid Daily Multivitamin. Along with your daily amount of chromium, our diverse blend of vital micronutrients includes all of the B complex vitamins, vitamins A, E, D, and K, and important minerals like zinc, iodine, and selenium. This all-in-one liquid solution can be consumed sublingually and is more concentrated than other liquid multivitamins, making it the standout choice for fast absorption of only the highest quality micronutrients. Both safe and effective, our Liquid Daily Multivitamin is a great choice for any household and can be given to family members of all ages.
- “Chromium - Uses, Side Effects, and More.” WebMD, 2022, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-932/chromium.
- Healthwise Staff. “Chromium.” University of Michigan Health, 23 September 2020, https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ut1024spec.
- DiSilvestro, Robert A. & Emily Dy. “Comparison of acute absorption of commercially available chromium supplements.” Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 2007, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17499152.
- “Chromium.” National Institutes of Health, 29 March 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Chromium-HealthProfessional.
- “Drug Interactions between Chromium Picolinate with Calcium and magnesium oxide.” Drugs.com, December 2021, https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/chromium-picolinate-with-calcium-with-magnesium-oxide-1665-19723-1516-0.html.
- Dou, Mei, et al. “Combined chromium and magnesium decreases insulin resistance more effectively than either alone.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2016, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27702717.
- Geddes, Jennifer Kelly. “Everything You Need to Know About Chromium.” Everyday Health, 1 May 2019, https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/all-about-chromium.
- “Chromium.” WebMD, 20 January 2021, https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-chromium.
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