Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chromium Picolinate

Chromium is a mineral involved in the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat, by augmenting the effects of insulin, stimulating the uptake of glucose and amino acids by body tissues. The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for chromium is 25 micrograms (mcg) for women 19 years old and older, and 35 mcg for men 25 years old and older. Picolinate is a derivative of tryptophan.

Claims include that chromium picolinate enhances amino acid uptake to from protein, promotes fat loos by glucose transfer, lowers cholesterol, increases strength, and even prolongs life. But people who do not have a low glucose tolerance to do not benefit. Research on chromium picolinate and performance has been inconclusive.

What chromium picolinate does is to augment insulin action, and thus stimulate amino acid and glucose uptake in muscles and promoting muscle growth. Some evidence shows that chromium supplementation helps diabetic patients with the uptake of glucose after a meal. No conclusive evidence of muscle gain or fat loss associated with chromium picolinate has been found.

Chromium picolinate deficiency can lead to impaired glucose uptake, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. chromium picolinate intake above 400 micrograms a day can inhibit iron absorption.

Food high in chromium includes: prunes, American cheese, peanuts, corn, peas and Tortilla chips.

Some of this information was taken from Winning Sports Nutrition by Linda Houtkooper, PhD, RD, FACSM, Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, PhD, RD and Veronica Mullins, MS, RD, CSCS.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on,, and If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

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