Check-up: Can this procedure help her lose weight?
Andrea is overweight and has recently read some troubling statistics about obese women in Jamaica.
She wants to lose weight and has heard of chromium picolinate which she has heard could help give her a jump-start into weight loss. She asks Check Up for an opinion.
Chromium is a mineral which is needed in very small amounts for good health. It is found in foods and supplements and is generally safe for us to take.
It is mostly used to improve blood sugar control in people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertensives and people on steroid treatment.
Chromium supplements are also used in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome, depression and Turners syndrome and is thought to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
It can also be used to augment treatment for bipolar disease and schizophrenia.
Some people also use Chromium for weight loss and to increase muscle and decrease body fat. It is said to increase energy and prevent Alzheimer's.
However it is thought that chromium will not benefit everyone. It may help in diabetes as chromium levels can be low in diabetics. There is research which shows that taking chromium supplements daily for six weeks can lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. It is not substitute for therapy but can be used as an adjuvant.
There is some evidence that taking chromium while participating in weight training can increase weight loss. There is also some evidence that chromium can improve weight loss in overweight or obese people but the weight loss is not much.
The truth is there is not significant supportive evidence for taking chromium to achieve much progress with weight loss or any of the areas where its use has been suggested to improve health.
There is also some evidence that taking large doses or using chromium of a prolonged time can affect kidney and liver function.
This is a supplement which needs more research before Check Up can endorse its use for specific conditions. Anecdotally it works for some people.
It seems to be safe to take orally in doses under 1,000 micrograms daily for up to two years for most people.
Chromium supplements should be avoided in people with liver or kidney disease. It also can interact with aspirin like medications like Cataflam and potentially increase the dose of the chromium.
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