Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is Chromium More Than a Metal?

According to Wikipedia, chromium is a steel-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish, and has a high melting point. It is also odourless, tasteless, and is malleable.

Why is that relevant to me or this blog? Well, according to the HealthBeat newsletter from Harvard Medical School, chromium may have some therapeutic uses. The research isn’t conclusive yet but in the future, we may be able to find other uses for chromium that improve our health. Of course, I would advise waiting until further research can be done on the matter. Its supposed health benefits include:

Lowering Cholesterol: Some clinical trials reported chromium deficiency may lead to higher cholesterol. Although the best ways to boost HDL (the good cholesterol) is exercise and eating properly, some studies indicate chromium may help imrpvoe cholesterol levels.

Diabetes: According to the article, chroium influences insulin action and glucose metabolism so there is some hope for chromium replacement therapy. However, the American Diabetes Association does not recommend this practice for now.

Weight Loss:
A popular diet aid, chromium picolinate, apparently assists with weight loss. However, there aren’t any studies confirming this notion. Until there are, we all have to suck it up and exercise and eat well to keep the weight off.

If you would like to incporate more chromium into your diet, you should consume foods such as broccoli, whole grains, green beans and nuts.

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