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The search for a magic weight-loss pill has been almost as exhaustive as the search for the legendary Fountain of Youth. While it may not be quite the miracle that some are looking for, chromium picolinate, a lesser-known essential trace mineral, has shown promise in curbing appetite, reducing carb cravings, and more.
Did You Know? Chromium’s primary function is to help cells respond properly to insulin and to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. When chromium is bound to picolinic acid (chromium picolinate), it’s easier for the body to absorb
Chromium Picolinate for Appetite & Satiety
A 2008 double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics examined the effect of chromium picolinate on 42 healthy, overweight, adult women who reported craving carbohydrates. Over the course of 8 weeks of supplementation (1,000 mcg per day), women in the chromium picolinate group demonstrated reduced food intake, hunger levels, and fat cravings, and they lost weight.
For Carb Cravings
You’re depressed. But instead of losing your appetite and not being able to sleep—typical signs of depression—you have an irresistible urge to eat sweets or other carbohydrates and to sleep a lot. These symptoms of “atypical depression” are, despite its name, quite common, and their consequences can be serious, including weight gain and related health problems. But chromium picolinate can help.
Atypically depressed patients with high-carb cravings seem to respond very positively to chromium, according to research in the September 2005 issue of Journal of Psychiatric Practice. “[Participants] had a reduction in their appetites and a reduction in their carbohydrate cravings,” says John Docherty, MD, the study’s principal investigator. “They also had an overall reduction in their depressive state.”
For Diabetes & Insulin Resistance
Chromium picolinate is perhaps best-known for its use in treating diabetes and insulin resistance. In fact, a 2006 review of research published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics noted that “Virtually all trials using CrPic supplementation for subjects with diabetes have demonstrated beneficial effects.” And a 2018 study published in PLOS One determined that low plasma levels of chromium are associated with “hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypertension, insulin resistance and high inflammation.”
How to Take Chromium Picolinate
Chromium picolinate is thought to be safe at doses up to 1,000 mcg per day, the amount used in weight-loss studies. Its blood-sugar-lowering properties have been noted in studies with doses ranging from 200–1,000 mcg per day.
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