Chromium deserves a little limelight because your life would be totally different without it. No, we’re still not referring to Google in any way. We’re talking about #24 on the periodic table, the essential trace mineral Chromium. It’s a well-studied mineral that has mechanisms of action such as blood glucose regulation and insulin sensitization. (1) This is imperative today because on top of the people actually diagnosed with diabetes, the CDC estimates that roughly another 38% of the American population now has pre-diabetes. This is where blood sugar levels are considered higher than normal. (2)
This means a lot of people are having a problem with regulating their blood sugar. How does this whole process work anyway? Different metabolic processes break down the different types of food we eat into glucose (a simple sugar). Our body can then either use that glucose for energy, or store it in our muscle and liver cells. When the body senses higher levels of glucose circulating, special pancreatic cells (beta cells) release a molecule called insulin. Insulin then binds on its receptors located on muscle and liver cells, which opens a doorway for glucose to enter the cells.
If people have blood sugar levels that are too high, then there is too much glucose circulating in the blood stream. This is happening because for some reason their insulin does not produce the signal necessary to shove glucose into the muscle and liver cells.
Here is a simple example: A bunch of kids are playing outside their house, while their mother sits outside and watches. The kids represent glucose, the mom represents insulin, and the house represents muscle/liver cells. Eventually, the mom sees the kids are getting tired, so she grabs a key out of her purse and tells the kids to come with her. The mom unlocks the door to the house and the kids are let inside. But high blood sugar means the mom’s key is not fitting in the lock!
So, what can chromium do to help this problem? Research demonstrates that chromium binds to a special protein in the body called chromodulin to improve the insulin-receptor signaling pathway (think of this as mom having a lock-picking kit in her purse, so she can jimmy the door open). (1)
Chromium has a lot more to offer than just improving the action of insulin though. It's also directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. It's been tested for management of high cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and weight as well. (1)
If all this intrigues you, then you are probably wondering how much Chromium to ingest each day. The Adequate Intake (AI) is 35 and 25 micrograms for males and females, respectively. (1) These are coincidentally enough the precise amounts that you can find in our Pinnacle Men’s and Women’s Multis. It may be a minuscule amount, but those couple micrograms will make a huge difference on how your body operates. So let your body, and your blood sugar, reach its pinnacle today!