Chromium glycinate, a mineral that regulates insulin and blood sugar, is an essential nutrient in a healthy diet. Researchers have found that this nutrient is also helpful in losing weight, boosting the body’s metabolism, and relieving atypical depression. Dietary chromium can sometimes be obtained from fruits and vegetables, but when the soil is deficient in chromium, people may add the mineral as a nutritional supplement. Chromium glycinate is one of a family of chromium nutrients that also include chromium picolinate and chromium polynicotinate.
Blood sugar rises when a person eats a high sugar or high carbohydrate food, and then insulin production increases to lower the blood sugar. The body uses chromium glycinate to maximize insulin function and level out blood sugar peaks. When the insulin and blood sugar levels remain balanced, people feel less hungry and are less likely to binge on food. Healthy adults without a history of diabetes can benefit from 100 to 200 mcg of chromium glycinate three times a day, as part of a diet and exercise plan.
A person deficient in chromium will often have high cholesterol, insulin, and blood sugar, and is at risk to develop prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Taking a chromium glycinate supplement to enhance the action of insulin has been shown to improve, and even eliminate, diabetes in some patients. Scientists have determined that 1,000 mcg per day is an optimal dose to improve the insulin and blood sugar levels in persons suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Several studies have shown that chromium glycinate can help relieve the symptoms of depression, including weight gain, excessive tiredness, and eating binges. This nutrient may work on two levels: by elevating the metabolism, the sufferer has more energy to put into daily life; by reducing sugar and carbohydrate cravings, the sufferer loses weight and has a better body image and health. Some researchers believe that chromium increases serotonin levels, which adds to a general sense of well-being. A therapeutic dose for depression is 200 mcg of chromium glycinate two to three times a day.
Persons with severe diabetes or depression should consult with a doctor before changing medications or adding chromium glycinate to their diets. The supplement should not be taken along with medication that reduces blood sugar, as this can cause an unsafe change in the blood sugar/insulin balance. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet can find the nutrient a beneficial addition to boost metabolism, reduce hunger pangs, and help with weight loss.