In a recent episode of his show, Dr. Oz suggested that chromium supplements may help women lose weight. As it quite often happens when Dr. Oz talks about products for weight loss, many people rushed to buy chromium supplements in hopes to obtain a little extra help to burn some pounds. However, some people ended up buying the “wrong” chromium and it’s important to understand the difference between chromium polynicotinate and chromium picolinate.
Dr. Oz suggested chromium polynicotinate, a supplement made up of chromium and niacin. It’s believed that niacin can help to increase chromium’s absorption. This version of chromium, the polynicotinate, was the one used in the study Dr.Oz presented in his show. Women taking chromium polynicotinate supplements were able to lose weight combined with an exercise program.
On the other hand, chromium picolinate is made of chromium and picolinic acid and is the most popular supplement form of this mineral. Chromium picolinate, also known as Chromium (III), is an efficient supplement against diabetes types 1 and 2, hypoglycemia and high cholesterol. Diabetics may take chromium supplements to regulate blood sugar levels with a daily intake of 200 mcg recommended by many doctors. There’s good evidence that chromium can lower glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, although chromium works better if someone is chromium deficient, which is usually only seen if a person has poor overall nutrition.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Most people get enough chromium from food. Broccoli, potatoes, and green beans are good sources of chromium but you can also obtain it from beef, poultry, apples, bananas and dairy products.
So, be careful when shopping for chromium supplements as these two words, polynicotinate and picolinate, may be similar but represent two different products.
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