Benefits of Chromium for Controlling Diabetes

Benefits of chromium for controlling diabetes have been scientifically established. Signs of chromium deficiency are insulin resistance and poor blood sugar control. Thus chromium supplements can be beneficial.

It has been scientifically established that chromium supplements can have a positive effect on diabetes by improving blood sugar control.


Just how chromium does this was not widely known until recent research uncovered the role of chromium in regulating blood sugar levels.

It has been known for over 50 years that signs of chromium deficiency include high blood sugar and complications of pre-diabetes. It is estimate that up to 50% of the American population may be chromium deficient! Is it any wonder that diabetes is statistically on the rise?

The benefits of chromium provide another example of how the simple addition of certain foods, or chromium supplements can have a positive effect on one of the most serious health issues of our time, diabetes.

In the past chromium toxicity was felt to be a problem with chromium supplements, however the form of chromium used in these supplements is different than what is used in industry so the issue of chromium toxicity does not present a problem in a properly formulated supplement.

How Does Chromium Help?

Cells use an internalized communication system we refer to as cell signaling. This intracellular signaling process is involved in regulating glucose absorption at the cellular level. Chromium is needed at the cellular level for these processes to be properly completed.

Studies on the benefits of chromium have consistently shown that proper amounts of chromium improve glucose management and insulin sensitivity by helping ensure the integrity of this intracellular signaling process. This is achieved by means of a protein called GLUT4

GLUT4 is a vital glucose “transporter molecule” that is activated by chromium. This activation allows glucose to flow into the cell, lowering glucose concentrations in your blood. This is how chromium promotes better blood sugar control.

Some benefits of chromium are:

  • Helps lower blood sugar levels
  • Helps improve insulin sensitivity
  • Helps raise HDL levels
  • Helps lower numbers on the A1C blood test
  • Helps promote more favorable artherogenic index
  • Helps lower triglyceride levels

Signs of Chromium Deficiency

Chromium deficiency is characterized by problems with blood sugar management. Some of the specific issues include:

  • Hyperglycemia – high blood sugar
  • Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar
  • Large swings in blood sugar levels
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Fatigue
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Diabetes

Chromium requirements expressed as the ESADDI (estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake) in adults for chromium is 50-200 mcg. It is best to get this from food sources if possible, but sometimes chromium supplements can be helpful in certain situations.

Foods Containing Chromium

Here is a short list of foods that contain chromium:

  • Molasses
  • Egg yolks
  • Calf's liver
  • Beef
  • Oysters
  • Brewers yeast
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

Benefits of Chromium – Which Supplements?

Chromium supplements come in several forms. As chromium polynicotinate, chromium picolinate, and GTF chromium. The FDA actually allows a qualified health claim for chromium picolinate as research has shown that this form helps lower blood sugar.

Recent research at Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Physiology, tested 6 chromium supplements for their efficacy in increasing insulin sensitivity. Only three compounds: chromium chelavite (amino acid-chelated), chromium polynicotinate, and chromium picolinate, actually enhanced insulin sensitivity.

If you use a chromium supplement, seek the guidance of an antiaging physician or clinical nutritionist, for recommendations on the best chromium formulation and dosage, for your individual needs.

As for brands, I am partial to Jarrow Formulas, Life Extension, Pure Encapsulations, and Poliquin Performance. These brands always deliver top quality!

Benefits of chromium for the management of blood sugar make it one of the most critical nutrients for good health. Diabetes and pre-diabetes is one of the most significant health problems of our time, and chromium is a vital nutrient for getting this under control.

Just as vitamin-d deficiency is widespread and linked to many chronic diseases, symptoms of chromium deficiency are widespread and also linked with significant health problems. Getting more chromium into your diet though foods or chromium supplements should be a priority.

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