The Dr. Lam Show

Mineral To Reduce Hunger Cravings

October 08, 2023 Dr. Lam
The Dr. Lam Show
Mineral To Reduce Hunger Cravings
Show Notes Transcript

This mineral has a significant effect on insulin as it improves blood sugar levels, sensitivity to insulin, and lowers appetite. It can also help curb sugar cravings and is used widely in weight loss programs.

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Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Chromium. Chromium is a mineral that humans need in trace amounts. Scientists don't really understand the full mechanism of how chromium works. But there are some good functions of it. Two primary forms of this mineral exists. It can be trivalant chromium, which is three plus, which mostly comes from foods and is biologically active. And then there's a toxic form of chromium, which is chromium six plus the hexavalent, which comes from industrial pollution. So it is an essential trace element that comes from a lot of foods, and you have to have it in proper amounts. What does chromium do in the body? A lot of research does show that has a significant effect on insulin. Chromium was found to lower glucose levels and increase sensitivity to insulin. So it might show a little benefit to those who suffer from sugar imbalances, or pre diabetes or type two diabetes. In addition, other research shows chromium might help with polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a condition linked to insulin resistance. Studies also show that the effects of chromium on conditions like Parkinson's or risk of heart disease or cholesterol, might be a little more unclear. And so this mineral has also been studied to help in the aid of metabolism of carbs and fats and proteins. And so if you are deficient in Chromium, you might want to think about how you can supplement with chromium. Several studies involving chromium supplements, and people with diabetes do show improved blood sugar levels. And these studies showed improved sensitivity to insulin and actually lower blood sugar. But some other studies do not show that. So there is a plus minus on the sugar levels for diabetes. However, there are other studies that do show that chromium can reduce hunger and food cravings when you're taking chromium picolinate. For example, groups of people who had depression and binge eating, experience a decrease in these behaviors when they took chromium picolinate. Always ask your doctor about whether you want to get started on the supplement. Don't ever start it yourself, because you want to make sure your sugar levels are good, and that your food cravings and hunger issues don't have a underlying root cause. For weight loss, there might be potential effectiveness of chromium for weight loss in those who are overweight or obese, but more studies need to be made. What foods contain chromium? There are good sources from whole grain products, meat, spices, vegetables and fruits. Sugary foods does not have chromium and their percentage of the daily value of chromium of half a cup of broccoli comes in at 31. So this means that broccoli can actually supply 31% of your estimated need further chromium necessary in for people with a healthy body. So another source can be like one medium, unpeeled, apple only provides 3%. So what sources of food can provide a lot. It will be broccoli, potatoes, green beans, that will be good sources and then apples and bananas are a little less. So definitely, supplementation might be key if you're very low in chromium. One factor keep in mind is that chromium is absorbed in your intestines. However, only 0.4% to 2.5% of ingested chromium is absorbed in your gut. The rest gets excreted in your bowel movements. So vitamin C and niacin can both help to increase the absorption of this mineral in your system. Some other things that can interfere with absorption would be a diet high in sugar, infections, pregnancy and lactation, extreme exercise and stress would affect your depletion of your stored chromium. What are risks to consider when taking chromium? You have to be careful about drug interactions like if you're taking drugs like NSAIDs, anti inflammatories or beta blockers, just be careful about taking any supplementation because you can have adverse reactions in the combining of medications and supplements. If you also are taking antacids or proton pump inhibitors or corticosteroids, they can also impair the absorption of chromium. So you got to be careful about taking them together. Some other side effects of chromium can be low blood sugar, so you can have irregular heartbeats or headaches or sleeplessness or mood swings, and allergic reactions. Also, if you have kidney or liver damage you want to be careful about increasing this supplement. And if you're pregnant or breastfeeding definitely stay away from chromium. So, medical experts tend to recommend no more than 200 micrograms per day, but make sure you ask for medical supervision when you're taking chromium. Always ask your doctor before starting any supplement. We're here to help you if you have any questions about it, you can contact us.