My Supplements in Cutting Phase: Chromium Picolinate
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My Supplements in Cutting Phase: Chromium Picolinate

My Supplements in Cutting Phase: Chromium Picolinate

Today, we will deal with a new supplement that is not so popular in cutting phase: chromium picolinate. To put it briefly, it is a combination of chromium and picolinic acid. The first one is an essential mineral that our body needs (it is available in meat, fish, potato, broccoli and whole bread). On the other hand, the second one helps the body absorb more chromium.

Why take chromium picolinate?

Chromium picolinate is the best source of chromium that we have. Said essential mineral helps the body regulate insulin, which helps us deal better with glucose (gain less weight). Consequently, this will improve the blood flow and the blood sugar levels as well.

During cutting phase, chromium picolinate can be a great ally, specially when we change the diet (bulking or cutting phase). The reason is because it reduces the appetite considerably, helping us to control the diet between meals, specially at the beginning.

The most common use of this supplement is treating obesity, diabetes and aging. Moreover, it helps to keep the cholesterol levels and the low density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) under control.

Chromium picolinate for cutting phase

What is chromium?

It is an essential mineral, a micronutrient that is present in small amounts in some food. Nevertheless, our body only needs small doses for its proper functioning and for the metabolic reactions of macronutrients: protein, fats and carbs.

Chromium contributes to controlling the blood glucose and diabetes, cardiovascular health, weight and brain health.

This mineral plays an important role in the insulin regulation regarding the amount of sugar we take. In fact, it helps to balance the blood glucose, resulting in a better energy response. Chromium is related to a group of element that can improve our quality of life, longevity and heart health. This is due to its role in the metabolization of fats, protein, carbs and other nutrients.

Best sources of chromium

Some of the most common sources are:

  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Grapes
  • Potatoes
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Garlic
  • Oranges
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Liver
  • Green beans
  • Oysters
  • Apples
  • Bananas
Find out more about the sources of chromium picolinate in this link

Tomato juice

Common symptoms of a chromium deficiency

A chromium deficiency in our body can result in the onset of some of these symptoms or trigger related pathologies:

  • Appetite changes
  • Weight changes
  • Bad blood sugar control
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Risk of having high cholesterol levels
  • Mood swings
  • Mild symptoms of anxiety
  • Worse skin, bone and eye health
  • Less ability to focus and a bad memory
  • Insomnia

What is chromium picolinate?

It is a combination of the chromium mineral and picolinic acid.

Even though we can combine chromium with other ingredients, it is usually combined with picolinic acid because it helps us absorb more chromium.

Chromium picolinate is sold as a food supplement and it is used to prevent a chromium deficiency. This can happen due to a bad diet, stress and aging. In addition, chromium picolinate can help us suppress the appetite, deal with diabetes or with high cholesterol levels.

Another function of this element will be protecting against the damage produced by the free radicals as well as the integrity of DNA in the liver and kidneys.

Sweet cravings

Benefits of chromium picolinate

Regulating the blood glucose

One of the most important benefits of chromium is regulating the blood sugar levels. To do so, there is a small molecule called chromodulin, an oligopeptide (binding of the amino acids: aspartate, cysteine, glutamate and glycine). Its main function consists of enhancing the signalling of insulin receptors located in muscle cells. Insulin is a hormone released after a meal that works when there is glucose in the blood.

Consequently, the result will be a better ability to absorb glucose by the muscle tissue. Moreover, it will lower high insulin levels, apart from preventing its accumulation as fat, redirecting glucose to the adipose cell.

A positive effect that results from this glycemic control is that we can improve the serotonin stability. Consequently, this will improve our mood and relieve the symptoms of depression.

Improving insulin sensitivity

Chromium plays a fundamental role in the metabolism of fats and carbs in order to produce energy. Moreover, it has been studied due to its ability to prevent diabetes. Diabetic people cannot use insulin properly because their body resists insulin. But, thanks to the positive effects of chromium picolinate, we can improve the insulin signalling while reducing the blood sugar levels.

Inside our body, the pancreas releases insulin when the glucose levels increase. Insulin offers these glucose molecules to our body cells in order to provide them with energy. However, a constant demand of insulin due to meals high in carbs can hinder the functioning of this organ in the long term. Consequently, it can lead to type II diabetes: the tissues will resist the effect of insulin, the pancreas will produce much less, resulting in a state of blood hyperglycemia.

After taking chromium picolinate, we will enhance the effects of insulin. Therefore, it will eliminate more blood glucose, transporting it to the cells. As a result, the sugars break down faster and more efficiently, leaving less sugar available to produce fat.

Appetite control

Appetite suppressant

Making sure that the blood sugar levels are stable is an important point for weight loss. Mainly because an insulin excess in the body usually increases our weight. That is the reason why this supplement is so popular among athletes or bodybuilders, or those who work hard to lose fat or for a cutting phase.

Moreover, chromium picolinate provides an additional benefit by suppressing the appetite and sweet cravings. This can make it easier to follow a low calorie diet for longer periods of time, helping us to lose weight.

Cholesterol

Chromium picolinate can also help to lower the cholesterol and triglycerides. A high cholesterol is a fat excess in the bloodstream that can be accumulated in the arterial walls, causing cardiovascular problems.

Cardiovascular Health

Chromium picolinate can also improve our heart health according to a study published in the 2010 edition of “Pharmacological Reports”. The researchers examined the effects of chromium picolinate in an abnormal blood pressure and vascular function. Its results show that, without altering the blood pressure markers, chromium picolinate can:

  • Encourage the relaxation of the blood vessels
  • Improve the blood flow
  • Support the recovery of the heart after a heart attack

Chromium picolinate supplements

We could consider using chromium picolinate supplementation if our diet is not very good. Either if it lacks the sources that we mentioned previously or if we have problems to absorb said mineral; the latter tends to happen to the elderly.

Moreover, we can enhance the effects of chromium picolinate by combining it with cinnamon. This is specially useful if we want to improve our glucose control and calm the appetite.

The best choice when it comes to taking a chromium picolinate supplement will be with a high carb meal. However, it is advisable to reduce the intake of simple and processed carbohydrates and use long chain or complex carbs (tubers, quinoa, whole rice, fruits and vegetables). The fiber supply is also very important, since it will help us avoid weight problems and improve our health overall.

Orange and Vitamin C

How to take chromium picolinate

If we want to treat the most acute symptoms, we may take 600mcg daily, distributed throughout the day in smaller doses: 200mcg.

Usually, we take picolinate with those meals containing carbs due to their interaction with the glucose metabolism. We suggest consulting your doctor if you have any question regarding the interactions of chromium picolinate and other substances:

  • Antacids
  • Medicines for the thyroid syndrome
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
  • Other supplements or plant extracts with chromium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

My advice

The chromium picolinate that I am currently using is: chromium picolinate by HSnessentials. It provides 200 micrograms that we can take in three servings in each of the main meals to meet our requirements.

ChromeMate ®

Usually known as chromium nicotinate or chromium polynicorinate (do not confuse with chromium picolinate) is a proprietary niacin system (Vitamin B3) bound to the chromium mineral. It started to be sold in the USA in 1987.

The efficacy and safety of Chromemate® has been widely studied in order to improve the functioning of insulin. Consequently, it helps to regulate the blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the energy production and a healthy body weight. ChromeMate has proven to be 18 times more bioactive than other types of niacin-chromium products.

Better quality of life

Benefits of ChromeMate®

When combined with physical exercise and a proper diet, ChromeMate® helps to:

  • Preserve a healthy body weight, stimulating the energy metabolism
  • Regulate the cholesterol levels, improving our cardiovascular health
  • Contribute to the proper functioning of insulin, keeping healthy blood sugar levels
  • Increase the life expectancy up to a 20%
  • Protect the cells against oxidative damage (due to sugar), reducing the risk of eye injuries, renal problems and nerve damage
  • Stimulate the creation of lean muscle mass

How does ChromeMate® work?

Until quite recently, chromium had not received all the attention it deserved. Thanks to Dr. Walter Mertz, now we know that this essential mineral is closely connected to the metabolism of glucose and insulin, but also to the fatty acids and muscle growth.

Chromium improves the absorption of glucose and amino acids by the cells and releases energy. In fact, insulin is the one that usually performs this task. However, it has been proven that the body does not need as much insulin if we have good chromium levels available. Moreover, those who suffer a chromium deficiency experience insulin disorders and they are more prone to developing diabetes.

By improving the functioning of insulin, the cells absorb the glucose and amino acids more quickly. Therefore, we will have more energy and materials to build muscle tissue. On the contrary, if insulin does not perform its functions properly, both elements will go back to the liver where they will be transformed into fats.

However, this does not mean that chromium can be anabolic or lipolytic on its own. Rather, there are other factors (physical exercise and balanced diet) which can support these effects.

The Chromemate® formula enhances the effect of chromium due to its niacin content. Consequently, it helps to metabolize the carbs, fats and protein to produce energy.

Bibliography

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