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Chromium-A Key Nutrient

The Impact of Chromium in our diet is essential. Without adequate amounts in our diet, we might develop health challenges relating to blood sugar management and peripheral neuropathy…

Trace elements or trace metals are minerals in minute quantities in living tissues. Some are known to be nutritionally essential, others may be (though the evidence is only suggestive or incomplete), and the remainder is considered nonessential. Trace elements primarily serve as catalysts in enzyme systems; however, some metallic ions, such as iron and copper, also participate in oxidation-reduction reactions in energy metabolism. Iron, a component of hemoglobin and myoglobin, is also essential for oxygen transport.

Key trace elements, however, are those essential nutrients that are necessary for life and health but only in the tiniest amounts. As with most nutrients, excess of this might be detrimental to health. Also, consuming an excessive amount of a single nutrient might be harmful to your health, except if there is a genetic or other bona fide medical reason to do so.

Let's talk about the nutrient Chromium!

If you've ever seen stainless steel or shiny car parts, you probably know what chromium is. Just like copper and manganese, it is a metal. Chromium is a trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism.

Research has shown that most humans in modern cultures probably get a large amount of their chromium intake through cooking with stainless steel wares! The reason is that most people do not consume diets that are naturally high in chromium.

The safest forms of human nutrition (trivalent) come from whole foods, found in broccoli (one of the highest sources), coffee, potato, apple skins, and nuts.

Consuming whole foods, containing peels and skins provide significant insurance against trace mineral deficiencies, including chromium deficiency. Chromium appears to be essential for our body's handling of blood sugar. In one particular form GTF, which is short for glucose tolerance factor, this trace element may help improve insulin (the hormone which lowers blood sugar) efficiency and potentiate insulin.

It is important to note that there is conflicting scientific evidence here. However, enough research indicates that GTF is probably the safest supplement form and best included in supplementation in relatively low amounts on the order of not more than 100 µg per day. In other words, trivalent chromium helps us process energy, particularly, carbohydrates and sugars.

In my book, I explain how poor blood sugar control in the form of either diabetes or metabolic syndrome can cause peripheral neuropathy and a whole host of health disorders. So, the impact of chromium on our nutrition is essential. Without adequate amounts in our diet, we might develop health challenges relating to blood sugar management and peripheral neuropathy!

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