# What Have Recent Studies Revealed About the Effect of Chromium Supplements on Body Composition?
Chromium is a mineral that is essential for human health. It is required in small amounts for the proper functioning of the body. Chromium is known to play a role in regulating blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism. In recent years, chromium supplements have gained popularity as a weight loss aid. But what do the recent studies say about the effect of chromium supplements on body composition? In this article, we will take a closer look at the research and explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of chromium supplementation.
## What is Chromium?
Chromium is a trace mineral that is naturally found in foods like broccoli, nuts, and whole grains. It is also available as a dietary supplement in the form of chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, and chromium nicotinate. The most common form of chromium supplement is chromium picolinate, which is believed to be the most bioavailable form of the mineral.
## How Does Chromium Affect Body Composition?
Chromium is known to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose metabolism. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for transporting glucose from the blood into the cells where it can be used for energy. Chromium helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which means that the body requires less insulin to transport glucose into the cells. This can lead to improved blood sugar control and a reduction in insulin resistance.
Chromium has also been shown to have a positive effect on body composition. Studies have found that chromium supplementation can help to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. This is believed to be due to the mineral's ability to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose metabolism. When the body is able to use glucose more efficiently, it is less likely to store excess glucose as fat.
## What Do the Studies Say?
There have been a number of studies conducted on the effect of chromium supplements on body composition. The results have been mixed, with some studies showing a significant effect and others showing no effect at all.
A review of 11 studies found that chromium picolinate supplementation resulted in a significant reduction in body weight and body fat compared to a placebo. The review also found that chromium supplementation led to an increase in lean muscle mass. However, the authors noted that the quality of the studies was poor and that more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Another study found that chromium picolinate supplementation led to a significant reduction in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference compared to a placebo. The study also found that chromium supplementation led to an increase in lean muscle mass. However, the authors noted that the study was small and that more research is needed to confirm these findings.
On the other hand, a study conducted in overweight women found that chromium supplementation had no effect on body weight, body composition, or insulin sensitivity compared to a placebo. The authors noted that the study was well-designed and that the results suggest that chromium supplementation may not be effective for weight loss in all populations.
## How Much Chromium Should You Take?
The recommended dietary intake of chromium is 20-35 mcg per day for adults. However, the optimal dose for chromium supplementation is not well-established. Most studies have used doses ranging from 200-1000 mcg per day, with the most commonly used dose being 200 mcg per day as chromium picolinate.
It is important to note that high doses of chromium can be toxic and can cause gastrointestinal upset, skin irritation, and liver and kidney damage. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
In conclusion, chromium is a mineral that plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism. Chromium supplements have gained popularity as a weight loss aid, with some studies suggesting that they can help to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. However, the research on the effect of chromium supplements on body composition is mixed, with some studies showing a significant effect and others showing no effect at all. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
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