Chromium

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Many bodybuilders use the micromineral chromium as a supplement believing that it is useful in reducing body fat. In the body chromium acts as a cofactor in insulin action, and deficiency in chromium (rare) does indeed play a role in the development of glyceamic abnormalities, and altered fat and muscle metabolism. Studies on type 2 diabetics have indicated supplementing with at least 200 micrograms of chromium daily can significantly decrease fasting glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance, so are, thus, beneficial (Mossop 1983; Anderson, et al 1987; Abraham, et al 1992; Anderson 1992).

Insulin resistance can lead to increased body fat and can impair proper muscle metabolism. One study indicated that chromium supplementation can help these parameters, but it was on subjects who were sedentary, overweight with a poor diet, and so not applicable to the athlete or bodybuilder (Katts, et al 1991). A study on footballers showed no benefit, and urinary excretion increased, i.e. a saturation point was reached (Clancy, et al 1994).

Chromium, usually as chromium picolate, is present in so many 'weight loss formulas', and is raved about by so many bodybuilders. I fail to see why. If you are consuming a good diet there is just no need to literally 'piss all your money away'!

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