Chrominum Picolinate and Weight Loss
There seems to be no end to the "miracle minerals" and other "super vitamins" to aid in weight loss. One such mineral has been around for some time and is gaining increased popularity as a supplement that has the ability to encourage weight loss, enhance mood, generate energy, increase life span and even prevent acne.
The Darling of the Weight-Loss Culture
Of course we're talking about chromium picolinate, the darling of the diet culture. According to a study done by Trent & Thieding-Cancel in 1995, chromium picolinate was even lauded as a safe alternative to steroids, claiming to increase strength and lean muscle mass. Truth be told, there is a lot of controversy that continues to revolve around this supplement and consumers should be advised and aware before embarking upon a supplementation program.
Chromium picolinate is a combination of chromium and picolinic acid. Chromium is a naturally-occurring mineral that appears in trace amounts in meat, poultry, fish, and whole-grain breads. Processing strips the minerals out of our foods and consequently, the American diet is deficient in trace minerals, including chromium.
What Do We Know About Chromium Picolinate?
One thing we know for sure, chromium is important to the effectiveness of insulin in our bodies. Insulin determines how energy is stored in the body and if chromium is deficient, then the transport of blood glucose across cell membranes is affected adversely. By mixing chromium with picolinic acid, the efficiency of chromium absorption is aided. It is this blend that is promoted in the marketplace today.
There are competing theories as to the precise effect of chromium, some asserting that chromium improves insulin efficiency causing an increase in the production of serotonin, which ultimately reduces appetite, while others say that chromium can regulate the fat-production processes in the body, preventing fat from forming. We could go on and on about the various claims and assertions made by the different manufacturers and marketers of this supplement.
Science Hasn't Proven What We Want to Believe
Scientific research has, to date, been largely unsupportive of any claims regarding weight loss. It is important to note that chromium picolinate has not been proven to be the weight loss, muscle building, metabolic enhancer that it has been touted as being. When combined with exercise, supplementation with chromium does nothing to enhance weight loss when compared to exercise alone.
At the end of the day, there is no magic bullet - whether labeled chromium picolinate or anything else. A healthy, low-calorie, well-balanced diet, exercise, adequate rest and moderate lifestyle are the foundations of a strong, healthy body. When we stop looking for the magic bullet, we'll find we already know what is best in terms of caring for and creating the body we desire.