Avid readers of health magazines are, no doubt, familiar with this trace mineral. It's been marketed in every way conceivable and it still shows some promise as an indirect aid to building lean body mass which pumps up the metabolism while inhibiting fat storage.

Chromium seems to be difficult for many to obtain from the diet as many of the foods in which it is found are not common to the American dinner table. Here's the short list. Brewer's yeast, clams, mussels, lobster, oysters and mushrooms. Do you eat those? If you answered no, give chromium supplements a chance. Furthermore, chromium is easily excreted from the body during exercise, especially in a humid environment where more sweat is produced, as well as during periods of stress or with a fiber free or high sugar diet.

Using chromium can increase the efficiency of insulin. It works better so less is released. Insulin's prime role is to drive glucose and amino acids into muscles to provide fuel for the tissue or to help replace lost amino acids. Since chromium makes muscles insulin friendly, glucose is diverted towards muscle rather than being kicked into fat storing pathways. When combined with weight training chromium is reported to build muscle at the expense of adding body fat.

Famed chromium researcher Gary Evans PhD. conducted a six week double blind study showing weight trainees who supplemented with 200 meg of chromium picolinate daily gained lV2 pounds of muscle while those who did not use chromium gained only 2 ounces of muscle.

In a second study with football players, Evans' research showed those supplementing with 200 meg of chromium picolinate daily lost 7V2 pounds in six weeks while those not using the chromium lost only 2 pounds. These same football players (who consumed an average of 4000 calories daily during training) were all chromium deficient leading into the study. Other follow up research has not been so complimentary. At the very least, it may be safe to assume many who do not regularly eat chromium rich foods may be deficient and it may be that chromium works well in deficient subjects.

Recommended Dose: 100 - 300 meg daily

Cost: 10-20 cents

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