LCHF – Chromium supplement to curb cravings
Earlier this week, I stumbled over a piece of information that I found extremely interesting and therefore decided to investigate right away.
I came into contact with a personal trainer who said that chromium supplements curb sugar cravings. He said it kind of “matter of factly” – but to me it was news and something that I wanted to look into a lot closer! I think I have mentioned this before, but I am an absolute champion at controlling my eating all day BUT when I reach late afternoon, I have cravings until the moment I retire to go to bed! What if I could actually find something as innocent as a supplement to help me with my cravings? Is this really possible?
Chromium is, like magnesium which I eat daily to avoid leg cramps, an essential mineral. As with a lot of minerals and vitamins, the specific impact of chromium on the body is not fully known – but, and here comes the very interesting aspect, studies show “that long-term use effectively controls blood sugar (glucose) levels in people with intolerance to carbohydrates”!
So, what is it that chromium supplements can potentially do for you? Studies, although somewhat varied in terms of results, point to a number of beneficial effects related to blood sugar levels, glucose uptake, metabolism and cravings – all very relevant subjects for “low-carbers”:
- Chromium diminishes carb cravings
As most of us know, cravings for sugar and starch are frequent and can resemble any other addiction. In one study quoted in the below article, taking 600 micrograms of chromium picolinate for 8 weeks significantly reduced carbohydrate cravings. That also answers the question of what is meant by “long-term use”. And the good news is, that the worse your cravings, the better the effect!
- Chromium helps control blood sugar
Taking daily chromium supplements has, in a number of studies, resulted in normalized blood sugar levels, improved blood sugar utilization, and decreased insulin requirements. The below quoted article mentions a specific study result in which blood sugar responses to a carbohydrate meal of white bread (not LCHF) were reduced by almost 1/4 when taking a dose of chromium. The article concludes that: “Thus, taking chromium with carbohydrate-rich foods may be an effective way to lower the glycemic index of that meal.”
- Chromium and cholesterol levels
Studies also report a significant reduction in triglycerides, overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol as a result of taking chromium supplements
- Chromium fights body fat
Very interesting, chromium supplements might reduce fat mass, increase lean body mass and can lead to weight loss. However, this particular area needs a lot more attention and the results are at this point only indicative.
- Chromium combats insulin resistance
As we have heard time and again, an important contributor to overweight and obesity is insulin resistance. You simply do not register that you are full because your body does not adequately read the signals. Studies conducted on rats that were given chromium supplements in their drinking water show that the insulin resistance condition improves with the supplement. The studies on rats seem to be consistent with findings on humans.
There are no reported side effects of chromium supplements and the suggested daily intake is between 200 and 600 micrograms. Chromium picolinate can easily be found in drugstores, health stores and online.
As the dietary sources of chromium are scarce, I will, without doubt, order a bottle of chromium supplements and try it, fingers crossed. I will be sure to keep you updated on my results.
My source – which I have relied heavily on for this blog post – can be found here
NB! I am not affiliated with any product or manufacturer of chromium supplements nor do I receive any commission or similar from the sale of any chromium supplement brand. Also, I cannot recommend any brand or dosage as I am on the brink of entering into a test of chromium supplements myself.