What is Chelated Chromium?

Marjorie McAtee

Chelated chromium is a dietary supplement containing chromium, a mineral that the human body usually needs to regulate metabolic processes. Humans only need very small amounts of chromium, but it is considered essential for helping the body metabolize fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It helps deliver glucose, or blood sugar, into the body's cells, where it is burned for energy. Some believe that using chromium supplements can help reduce insulin resistance and assist sugar and fat metabolism. Its benefits may include lowered blood sugar, lowered blood cholesterol, decreased body fat, and decreased appetite.

Chromium may help decrease body fat.
Chromium may help decrease body fat.

This mineral is believed to assist sugar metabolism because it helps insulin bind with living cells in the body to deliver glucose, or blood sugar, to that cell's receptors. It plays a role in keeping blood sugar levels stable while controlling appetite. It may help reduce blood levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol while raising blood levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. In may help improve fat metabolism, helping the body to shed more excess fat.

Chromium may help decrease one's appetite.
Chromium may help decrease one's appetite.

Many people probably get enough chromium from eating a balanced diet. Chromium deficiency may be related to type 2 diabetes high blood cholesterol, and chelated chromium supplements may be able to help manage the symptoms of these conditions. Chelated chromium contains chromium that has been chemically combined with other substances, like amino acids, that can help the body absorb chromium more easily.

The body can store chromium in the spleen.
The body can store chromium in the spleen.

The body usually excretes much of the chromium in takes in, through the urine. The body can store chromium in the skin, muscles, spleen, brain, and fatty tissues of the body. Levels of chromium in the body, as well as the ability to absorb chromium from dietary sources, may decrease with age.

Half of people in the United States suffer from mild chromium deficiency.
Half of people in the United States suffer from mild chromium deficiency.

Some experts believe that minor chromium deficiency may be relatively common in the developed world. Studies conducted in the United States and Britain seem to indicate that as many as half of people in those countries suffer from mild chromium deficiency. While chelated chromium dietary supplements aren't known to have any negative side effects, persons who wish to use them for the management of a medical condition are generally advised to seek the advice of a physician prior to beginning supplement use. Dietary sources of chromium include brewer's yeast, whole grains, shellfish, and liver.

Brewer's yeast, which contains chromium.
Brewer's yeast, which contains chromium.
Chromium is a component of a protein complex called glucose tolerance factor, which researchers believe binds to insulin receptors.
Chromium is a component of a protein complex called glucose tolerance factor, which researchers believe binds to insulin receptors.

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