Chromium is a hard metal that is essential in human nutrition. Glucose tolerance factor chromium is a form of the mineral that is easily absorbed by your body. A metal, in its pure state, can be difficult for your body to absorb and must be chelated with another compound to increase its absorption. GTF chromium is bound to the B vitamin niacin, and is used as a nutritional supplement for the optimal function of insulin and improving cholesterol. Chromium may also lower blood sugar levels in individuals who are hypoglycemic, and may influence athletic performance. Before using GTF chromium as a dietary supplement, consult your physician to make sure it will not interfere with any conditions you may have, or medications you are taking.
Chromium is an important component of the glucose tolerance factor associated with insulin in the proper metabolism of blood glucose, or sugar. In the book, "Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease," published in 1999, the editors state that chromium potentiates the activity of insulin and may also influence fat and protein metabolism, facilitating the breakdown of these nutrients to be used as energy for your body. Chromium also facilitates the transport of amino acids into your muscles, aiding in muscle growth and repair.
GTF chromium may affect cholesterol metabolism, which may be beneficial to individuals suffering from high total cholesterol. In a study published in the "Western Journal of Medicine," researchers found that 200 micrograms of chromium supplements daily for 42 days effectively lowered total cholesterol, while slightly increasing high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol. The researchers concluded that chromium is effective in improving the profiles in individuals suffering from high cholesterol. However, chromium should not replace conventional treatment for high cholesterol. Consult your physician before beginning a GTF chromium supplement program.
Hypoglycemia is a condition that mainly effects individuals who are diabetic and is defined as abnormally low blood sugar levels, which may lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, confusion and, in severe cases, heart palpitations, coma and death. Chromium helps regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics, ensuring that normal, balanced amounts of glucose are present in your bloodstream to maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency in chromium may lead to abnormally high blood glucose levels, which may lead to increased urination, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, body numbness, confusion and coma.
Chromium has been used as a performance-enhancing mineral by athletes to improve insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism during exercise. Chromium supplementation may also improve body composition in athletes by increasing lean body mass and decreasing body fat. A study published in the "International Journal of Biosocial and Medical Research" found that chromium supplementation, when combined with a moderate-intensity exercise program for 40 days, increased lean body mass while decreasing body fat. The researchers suggest that chromium supplementation enhanced body composition by decreasing body fat and increasing muscle mass.
- "Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport"; Melvin H. Williams; 2002
- "Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease"; M. Shils et al.; 1999
- Pub Med Health; The Effect of Chromium Picolinate on Serum Cholesterol and Apolipoprotein Fractions in Human Subjects; R.I. Press et al.; 1990
- "International Journal of Biosocial Medical Research"; The Effect of Chromium Picolinate on Insulin Controlled Parameters in Humans; G.W. Evans; 1989