Chromium: How It Benefits the Heart and More | 1MD Nutrition™

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Chromium: How It Benefits the Heart and More

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that supports blood glucose and heart health. Depending on your diet and lifestyle, you may want to try a chromium supplement to your daily regimen. Here’s what you need to know.

6 minute read

Last Updated March 18, 2022

Chromium: How It Benefits the Heart and More

Chromium is an essential trace mineral, commonly found in seawater and the earth’s crust. It is also beneficial to human health and can be found in the body. 

Chromium is called a trace mineral because only a tiny amount can be found in the body, and only a tiny amount is needed. Chromium has been considered the “forgotten” mineral for a long time but has recently gained attention, for its role in heart health.

Chromium and Your Heart

Maintaining heart health is important, so the essential benefits of chromium to heart health are a welcome discovery. 

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Chromium can be found in foods like broccoli, liver, whole grains, beef, and poultry. It is also possible to take supplements when you feel that you may not be getting what you need from food. Ensuring you get the recommended daily dose of chromium is a great way to promote heart health.

Chromium supports your heart by helping to promote healthy cholesterol levels and arterial health. Helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels also supports healthy blood pressure and proper blood flow to ensure oxygen and nutrients are efficiently delivered through the body. 

Chromium also supports heart health by promoting fat burning to and healthy weight management and promoting fat burning. Chromium acts on chemicals in the brain that suppress hunger to help you avoid the temptations of unhealthy snacking.

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Blood Sugar and Your Heart 

Before it was considered to be a heart health benefit, one of the best-known actions of chromium has been its ability to support the activity of insulin. It is now understood that blood sugar levels are directly related to the health of your arteries and your heart. 

Chromium’s natural effect on the activity of insulin makes it an important resource in maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Chromium specifically works to support the activity of pancreatic cells that promote efficient absorption of glucose. 

One additional benefit of chromium is that by promoting healthy blood glucose levels, it can also support cognitive function and mood. By promoting efficient utilization of blood glucose and stimulating the release of tryptophan, an essential component for the production of serotonin, chromium can support a healthy mood.

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Taking Chromium

The recommended daily intake for chromium differs by age and gender, but when taken as chromium picolinate, the upper limit per day is 1,000mcg. Chromium, like other supplements, can interact with medications and other supplements, so you should always discuss with your doctor first, before starting any chromium supplement. 

There are no known side effects reported with taking too much chromium. In some cases, taking chromium supplements can cause dizziness, nausea, mood changes, and impaired thinking or coordination. 

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Consult your doctor if you notice these changes, as you may need to cease the supplement or change the dose. 

The Bottom Line

With a balanced diet containing whole grains, meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables, you are likely getting the chromium you need. If you are looking to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels or just want to give your heart a little extra support, it may be worth considering a chromium supplement. Speak with your doctor about the benefits of chromium and your lifestyle, because this trace mineral can do a lot for your heart and overall health.