Chromium helps the body regulate metabolism, and regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. Chromium helps the body lose weight by stimulating enzymes that metabolize glucose for energy. It plays an important role in the liver synthesis of fatty acids (burns fat). When the body is deficient in chromium, twice the amount of time is needed for insulin to remove glucose from the blood. Chromium enhances insulin performance and glucose utilization and helps carry proteins. Chromium works best if taken before meals. Refined sugar causes the body to deplete chromium more rapidly. Strenuous exercise can also deplete chromium levels. The elderly are unable to store as much chromium in the body as are younger people. The refining of starches and carbohydrates robs foods of chromium. American soil is chromium deficient compared to European soil.
Chromium deficiency is a major factor in the development of heart disease (heart attacks, hardening of the arteries). Chromium is stored principally in the kidneys, spleen and testes, with trace amounts found in the heart, lungs, pancreas and brain. The body can not easily absorb chromium.
Some symptoms of a chromium deficiency:
Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D)
Aortic cholesterol plaque
Infertility, decreased sperm count
Coronary blood vessel disease
High blood cholesterol
Natural sources: corn oil, cloves, whole grain cereals, meat, and brewers yeast.