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Chromium Research: Deficiency plus Aid for Fat Loss & Building Muscle



Never Underestimate the Power of Natural Supplementation
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In their quest for mind-blowing muscularity, deep cuts, and a body road mapped with clearly visible veins, many bodybuilders will pull out all the stops to achieve a physique that would make most "normal "folks recoil in disgust. Forever seeking physical perfection, a huge number of muscle heads continue to abuse anabolic steroids despite all the health risks associated with them. The science of nutrition may never find the equivalent of anabolic steroids, but certain, supplements can greatly accelerate the efforts of those who choose to stay drug-free. My purpose in writing this article is not to dissuade those who use steroids from continuing their use as I know my efforts would be futile. However recent studies have shown us natural lifters that a certain mineral can provide a sound means of increasing muscle mass and decreasing bodyfat, and you don't need to go to a Mexican pharmacy to obtain it. The mineral l am referring to is chromium.

Advertisements and articles for chromium supplements have been appearing in this magazine and others for sometime, claiming that the mineral can increase muscle mass in weight-training individuals. There is some truth to this claim, but the actions of chromium are slow and subtle, so if someone says that chromium can pump you up as steroids can, he's a bit misled. Many are probably confused and skeptical, and some may even thumb their nose at chromium in the belief that it doesn't work at all, Yet studies have clearly demonstrated that chromium can promote modest muscular gains and decreases in bodyfat, and that one type of product - chromium picolinate - is safe and effective.

Unfortunately the widespread incidence of chromium deficiency can make your physique goals more difficult to reach. As chromium directly affects functioning of the hormone insulin, it indirectly affects your ability to grow and get ripped. Insulin is one of the most powerfUl anabolic hormones in your body, and maximizing its functions is a goal no intelligent bodybuilder should neglect. Through chromium supplementation you can ensure that your muscles are receiving the maximum amount of glucose and amino acids that they need in order to grow - all because of chromium's effects on insulin metabolism. Furthermore, chromium makes insulin more efficient - i.e. you need a relatively small amount to get the job done. With less insulin in your system your body's rate of fat-burning begins to skyrocket. If your diet or supplement program lacks chromium, insulin functions at less than optimal status and your bodybuilding goals become compromised.

First, to provide the basis for a later explanation of how chromium "builds" muscle and "bums" fat, we'll examine how chromium works in the body. Then we'll see how widespread chromium deficiency is, why you need more than your pencil neck buddies, what the research has shown about chromium, and how and why it has the aforementioned effects. Finally, we'll take a look at various commercial supplements and decide which one is best. Let's begin with the way in which chromium works with insulin to optimize its functioning.

GLUCOSE INSULIN AND INSULIN SENSITIVITY: A PRIMER

Because these terms will be used frequently throughout this article, I want to briefly discuss their meaning. Glucose is merely the scientific jargon for blood sugar, a simple carbohydrate circulating in the bloodstream whose level is regulated in part by one of the two pancreatic hormones, insulin. Following a high-carbohydrate meal the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream rises dramatically, well above the body's preferred level of 80 to 120 mg/dL. To counteract this increase, the liver releases insulin into the bloodstream where it binds to receptors on muscle cells and allows glucose to enter. As a result blood-sugar levels drop back into the normal range, and your hungry muscles get the nutrients they need to grow. Thus, insulin lowers blood sugar by facilitating the transport of glucose (and amino acids, if present) across a muscle cell's plasma membrane. It also encourages the liver to synthesize glycogen and convert glucose to fatty acids.

The term glucose tolerance (also called "insulin sensitivity") refers to the degree to which a cell responds to the actions of insulin. People with poor glucose tolerance, such as those with non-insulin-dependent diabetes, face the problem of overloaded serum-glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and even glucose spilling over into the urine. In a bodybuilder impaired insulin means that the muscle cells are slow to get the nutrients they need and may be compromised in terms of reparation and growth. Chromium deficiency has been consistently associated with impaired glucose tolerance, hyperglycemia, and many other undesirable conditions. Dr. Walter Mertz, one of the world's most respected chromium researchers, cites a 1966 study showing that glucose tolerance was improved upon supplementation of chromium in human subjects, and more recent studies have confirmed these findings. For this reason Mertz, a member of the USDA and writer for the Journal of Nutrition, states, "Marginal states of chromium nutrition contribute to the progressive impairment of glucose tolerance with age, typical in several industrial societies." Translated into English, what this guy is trying to say is that a large number of people are probably deficient in the mineral (this includes bodybuilders!), and this condition can screw up your body's ability to process sugar. Supplementary chromium can alleviate the symptoms, leading to increased muscle mass, decreased bodyfat and better sex (you wish!).

HOW CHROMIUM WORKS: THE GLUCOSE TOLERANCE FACTOR

The biologically active form of chromium is called the glucose tolerance factor (GTF). In this compound chromium complexes with other substances, including picolinic acid and three amino acids. Naturally occurring GTF has been identified in brewer's yeast, though the structure has never been completely characterized and continues to baffle researchers. Some experts, such as Dr. Fisher, author of The Chromiun Program, believe that chromium picolinate is the most biologically active. Synthetic versions, sold most often as chromium nicotinate or chromium picolinate, are nearly as effective as the real stuff in boosting insulin efficiency. Earlier compounds, such as chromium chloride, were found to be relatively ineffective in this regard, as described by Dr. Mertz in a recent review. He refers to a study showing that mixtures made similar to the active GTF component of yeast greatly improved glucose tolerance and blood fat concentrations in obese, diabetic mice.

GTF works to potentiate or intensify the actions of insulin. Imagine insulin chugging along its merry little way in your bloodstream. It approaches a cell and identifies the region to which it will bind. At this step the absence or presence of chromium (as GTF) becomes critical. Think of a muscle cell as being a room with a door that swings only one way - outward. The door itself represents the cell receptor to which insulin will bind. It obeys the laws of biochemical chivalry and, like a true gentleman, opens the door so that glucose and amino acids can enter. Now imagine that chromium represents the doorknob or handle to which insulin binds - and pulls open - so that the cell gets the nutrients it needs. (For all you biochemistry buffs, chromium is thought to initiate the disulfide bridging between the "a" polypeptide chain of insulin and the cell receptor, as described in an advanced college nutrition text.) Ever try to pull open a door that has no handle or knob? It's possible, but very difficult. Insulin has that same problem when chromium is lacking - it wants to get in but has no efficient way of doing this. If chromium is present, however, insulin has a very swift and easy way of transporting carbs and protein into your hungry muscle cells. This process translates into greater glycogen and protein synthesis, ultimately leading to enhanced growth.

You should understand that chromium does not directly aid anabolic processes insofar as it merely acts as a "cofactor" in insulin metabolism and function, and insulin fosters the real muscle growth. Why do you think so many amateur and professional bodybuilders inject synthetic insulin? Massive muscle growth! But injecting insulin should not be taken lightly, as it can put you into hypoglycemic shock and even a coma if done imprudently. Maintaining adequate chromium nutrition is so much easier and safer. As you will now see, chromium malnourishment is not an uncommon problem.

CHROMIUM DEFICIENCY IS WIDESPREAD

According to Dr. Michael Colgan, "the American diet is more deficient in chromium than any other trace mineral." Currently the US RDA's "safe and adequate daily dietary intake range" is between 50 and 200 micrograms (mcg - one millionth of a gram) for adolescents and adults - but that's for sedentary people. Even "normal" Americans don't get nearly enough chromium. Dr. Colgan points to a study showing that when a representative group of people were allowed to self-select their diets, 90 percent had daily intakes of less than S0mcg. Based on this and similar studies, Dr. Jeffrey A. Fisher states, "It is highly likely that your diet is deficient in chromium." Moreover, Dr. Colgan claims that some sedentary folks need to ingest up to 290 mcg per day to stay in positive chromium balance. With all this deficiency going around, it's no wonder that Americans are having trouble building muscle and getting lean. For bodybuilding purposes chromium malnourishment can lead to a much more difficult time gaining those last few inches on your his and ti-is and/or slicing up your abs.

So what causes can we attribute chromium deficiency to? Dr. Fisher has done extensive research on the mineral and gives the following reasons as to why Americans have such poor chromium status:

Factors Contributing to Chromium Deficiency:

o low consumption of chromium-rich foods.

o high consumption of foods that are both chromium deficient and "rob" the body of chromium (e.g., simple sugars and highly processed foods such as white bread.).

o consumption of foods grown on low-chromium soil.

o losses caused by exercise (a huge one for bodybuilders!).

o losses due to aging.

o losses due to stress.

o losses due to pregnancy.

Of this list the three biggest factors that a bodybuilder would have to worry about would be low consumption of chromium-rich foods (due to our strict diets), exercise and stress. Most of you probably steer clear of highly processed, chromium-depleting foods such as white rice and bread on a regular basis, so that isn't a big problem, and most of you probably aren't old or pregnant. You maybe wondering, 'How can I tell if I'm chromium deficient?' There are several ways. The following is a composite list that Dr. Colgan and Dr. Fisher give as to symptoms of chromium deficiency and/or blood-sugar disorders:

Symptoms of Chromium Deficiency:

o impaired glucose tolerance (insulin insensitivity).

o unstable blood-sugar levels, wildly swinging between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

o chronic hyperglycemia.

o hyperinsulinemia.

o glycosuria (sugar in the urine).

o high cholesterol and blood fats.

o difficulty gaining size and strength.

o difficulty getting ripped.

o low levels of endurance.

These are not very desirable conditions to have, but Dr. Colgan claims that in athletes who have blood-sugar problems like those listed above, supplemental chromium dramatically reduces symptoms in over 50 percent of cases. (Many people are genetically hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic, so you can't necessarily single out chromium deficiency as the cause of their problems.) In any event we might bear out the assumption that in those athletes who experienced improvements in insulin metabolism, chromium deficiency was the culprit all along. So if you are a bodybuilder who has fluctuations in energy all day, gains a pound of bodyfat from just looking at a rice cake, or seems to be suffering from an acute case of pencil neck it is, chromium malnourishment may be to blame. The intense training done day in and day out by hardcore bodybuilders can only serve to augment chromium deficiency.

MUSCLEHEADS NEED MORE CHROMIUM THAN PENCILNECKS AND COUCH POTATOES

Perhaps the biggest factor accountable for lack of adequate chromium stores in athletes comes from the fact that physical activity causes you to lose so much of the stuff One famous study performed by Richard Anderson, et. al. at the USDA showed that chromium is severely reduced in exercising subjects, as the body loses the mineral in the urine. They found that the excretion rate of chromium increases by a factor of five two hours after a six-mile run, and chromium losses nearly double on exercise days as compared to non-exercise days. Colgan claims that athletes may require twice as much chromium as couch potatoes, and says that the harder you train, the more chromium you use up. Bodybuilders are among the most intensely training athletes on the planet, so maintaining adequate intakes becomes especially important for us. Dr. Fisher explains, however, that trained athletes lose less chromium than their untrained counterparts - most likely a natural defense against depleted stores - but excretion still occurs.

CHROMIUM IS EFFECTIVE - RESEARCH PROVES IT

At this point you may be thinking, 'Well now, this sounds all well and good, but does chromium supplementation actually help build muscle?' The answer is most certainly. In his book, The Chromium Program. Dr. Fisher describes in detail two studies performed by Dr. Gary Evans, who is professor of chemistry in the Minnesota State University system and considered to be a pioneer in chromium research. In the first study ten entering freshmen enrolled in weight-training courses were divided into two groups. The first group was given a daily chromium supplement that was to be taken for six weeks. The other group received a placebo - an inactive "sugar pill." In this double-blind study neither the subjects nor the researchers knew which group was getting what. Each group participated in a prescribed weightlifting program for three hours a week. Prior to and following the study, measurements such as bodyfat percentage and amounts of lean body mass were taken. Amazingly the chromium group gained an average of 3-1/2 pounds while the placebo group gained an abysmal 0.08 pounds, which is less than two ounces. As Dr. Fisher emphasizes, the chromium group gained 30 times the lean body mass of the placebo group. In addition, the circumferences of the aims and lower legs of the guys taking chromium increased by a significant margin.

Dr. Fisher then goes onto describe Evans's second study, in which 31 football players were divided into two groups. As in the first study, the athletes received either a 200-mcg chromium picolinate supplement or a placebo, each to be taken daily for six weeks while following a strength-training program. Again the results were rather significant. By the end of the study the chromium group gained an average of 5.69 pounds while the placebo group gained a respectable 4.0 pounds. The chromium group gained nearly 1-1/2 times as much mass as the placebo group. For this reason Dr. Fisher states, "The magnitude of muscle gain in some of the participants in Dr. Evans's studies with safe and natural chromium paralleled that seen with dangerous anabolic steroids' Furthermore, the chromium group lost 3.6 percent bodyfat while the placebo group lost only 1 percent bodyfat. From this data I hope you are convinced that investing in a simple chromium supplement could have a significant impact on your ability to build freaky mass and lost fat. Many other studies have shown the anabolic effects of chromium, including experiments using pigs and other animals, but space is limited and detailing these studies could easily take up a small book. The bottom line is that chromium, in conjunction with a sensible nutrition and training program, really does work to increase lean body mass and decrease bodyfat. Are you convinced yet?

HOW CHROMIUM BUILDS MUSCLE

In as much as chromium works only to potentiate insulin, the mineral itself doesn't have any direct anabolic actions per Se. Insulin, however, is highly anabolic. Many scientists consider it to be the body's number one muscle-building hormone because it directs transport of glucose and amino acids into hungry muscle cells so that they can repair and grow. Let's now review the functions of insulin as they relate to bodybuilding.

Functions of Insulin:

o transports glucose into muscle cells.

o accelerates glycogen formation.

o promotes cellular uptake of amino acids and increases rate of protein synthesis.

o favors the conversion of excess dietary carbohydrates into free fatty acids, which are then packaged and stored in adipose tissue.

o decreases muscle proteolysis.

o blocks lipolysis (fat-burning.).

The indirect anabolic action of chromium can be explained quite simply: If lack of chromium can impair insulin in its functioning, shouldn't an abundance of chromium increase the efficiency of insulin in performing its task? Absolutely! With chromium present the cellular 'Snachinei' operates at full bore to increase the amount of raw protein manufactured. Simultaneously it decreases the rate of proteolysis (the breaking down of proteins into simpler compounds, as in digestion). Moreover, the storage of fuel for your muscles, glycogen, is synthesized at a faster rate which can help lead to better pumps, more energy, and possibly even increased vascularity. To emphasize the crucial role that chromium plays in supercharging the actions of insulin, Dr. Fisher states, "Chromium is necessary for insulin to build muscle.., when the presence of adequate chromium is combined [with resistance exercise], the effects are additive: chromium + resistance training = a double dose of muscle- building and fat-losing potential:' To the contrary, a deficiency of chromium (and the insulin insensitivity it creates) can bring your gains in size and strength, as well as many other athletic pursuits, to a screeching halt. (Well, okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but chromium is pretty damned important!) To avouch this conclusion, Dr. Colgan says, "Unless you have optimal chromium nutrition, your insulin metabolism, your muscle, your strength, your supply and use of glycogen and fats as fuel, your endurance, and your level of bodyfat will all be suboptimal."

HOW CHROMIUM AIDS FAT LOSS

Insulin is a double-edged sword. Not only does it promote and accelerate glycogen formation, protein synthesis and muscle growth, but it also has the potential to make you fatter than the Pillsbury doughboy if you eat curbs in excess, Also, many researchers contend that insulin may ampli' the accretion of bodyfat from extra dietary fats. So how does chromium accelerate fat loss? As with chromium's anabolic effects, it basically serves only to mediate the effects that insulin has on certain aspects of nutrient metabolism. In other words, chromium plays a key role in determining the relative rates at which fat (as fatty acids) and bodyfat (as adipose tissue) get stored in adipose tissue or burned as fuel. In time chromium supplementation can lead to modest decreases in bodyfat, as the pancreas can afford to down-regulate the amount of insulin it needs to release in response to a given carbohydrate load.

To further explain this process requires a bit of physiology, but stick with me. When you eat a meal high in carbohydrates, especially carbs of high glycemic index, the pancreas releases a large amount of insulin to offset the increased concentration of glucose. This is where chromium comes in. As I'm sure you know by now, chromium aids insulin in transporting glucose (and amino acids if the meal contains protein) into your muscles, leading to a reduction in blood-sugar levels. However, if you are insulin insensitive (partly because of a lack of chromium), the hormone has a very difficult time pulling open that "door" I mentioned earlier, and blood-sugar levels remain relatively high. To compensate for the relatively ineffectual actions of insulin, your pancreas panics and pumps out even more of the stuff in a desperate attempt to gain control over that glucose load. Eventually insulin does succeed in doing its job, but its levels remain so high for so long that lipolysis (the decomposition of fats into fatty acids and glycerol) has about a snowball's chance in hell of getting anywhere. Keep in mind that insulin both promotes bodyfat accretion from excess curbs/fats and simultaneously blocks fat-burning. In some cases, as in hyperglycemics who are deficient in chromium, insulin never really serves its function and insulin. Blood-sugar levels remain chronically high. In other cases, such as in hypoglycemics, the extra insulin "breaks down the door," so to speak, causing so much glucose to flood into the muscle cells that blood-sugar levels abruptly drop into the hypoglycemic range. This phenomenon may, in part, explain the wild fluctuations in blood-sugar levels reported by people who are deficient in chromium, and the fact that supplementation can help to "even out" serum-glucose concentrations.

Back to why chromium aids fat loss. There are basically three reasons why the mineral helps you lose your belly. First, as Dr. Fisher explains, under normal circumstances insulin promotes only a minimal deposition of body fat, which is enough to insulate our organs, provide a decent storehouse for energy reserves, and maintain normal levels of circulating blood fats. If you are insulin resistant, the compensatory high insulin levels can lead to some serious bodyfat buildup. (There go your sliced-up midsection and separated quads.) In fact, Dr. Fisher asserts that chronically high insulin levels may even lead to obesity. (Not good for your next contest, unless you plan to compete in this year's Mr. 0-Blimpia!) Remember, administration of chromium supplements has been shown to dramatically improve insulin sensitivity, and this improvement obviously will help you in your cutting-up goals.

Secondly, because insulin blocks fat-burning, you want to keep levels of the hormone as low as possible when ripping up. The most obvious way to keep insulin levels low would be to avoid eating carbohydrates, but when followed excessively, this method can cause you to lose too much muscle. (When carbs are lacking, the liver will draw upon the amino acids in your muscles for energy.) But what if we could find a way to increase the efficiency of insulin in performing its task, thereby decreasing the relative amount the pancreas has to release in order to deal with a carbohydrate load? Why, enter chromium, of course, and you've got less insulin and therefore easier fat-burning. (This point relates to the first part of the argument - that is, insulin promoting bodyfat deposition.) So the effects of chromium-mediated, lowered insulin levels on bodyfat are twofold: simultaneously decreased fat storage and increased fat-burning.

There is one final reason why chromium aids fat loss (albeit small) which can be simply deduced. We all know that muscle tissue bums bodyfat, and an increase in your muscle tissue will result in an increased capacity of your body to use fat for energy. If chromium supplementation leads to a net increase in your lean body mass, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that this increase in muscle mass will lead to a greater ability to get ripped. 'Nuff said?'

SUPPLEMENTS - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Because of our limited diets and the fact that chromium is not abundant in most foods, a good supplement is in order for a hard-training bodybuilder. Many types of supplements are currently available, including chromium chloride, chromium-amino acid complexes, and chromium polynicotinate. Chromium chloride, an inorganic form of the mineral, is not as effective as others in improving insulin metabolism and blood lipid concentrations. This form of chromium, often sold as "naturally trivalent chromium," is very poorly absorbed. According to Dr. Fisher, it does seem to work in some people - but not all. In contrast Dr. Colgan asserts that chromium picolinate is absorbed fivefold better than inorganic chromiums, dramatically improves insulin metabolism, and is more powerful.

Nobody's stopping you from trying to get chromium from natural food sources, but this quest may be very difficult as bodybuilders typically eat a very strict and often unbalanced diet. Beer, for instance, contains a relatively large amount of chromium - but how many of us drink beer? Not very many! (And I guarantee you that if you do, the fat-storing properties associated with beer consumption will negate the effects of chromium.)To exacerbate our strict diets, we usually get even less naturally occurring chromium in the months prior to competition because we lower our calorie/carb intakes at this time and chromium is most often found in high-carbohydrate foods. Robert G. Lefavi,a well-respected bodybuilder who writes articles for other hardcore mags, as well as being a popular proponent of chromium, suggests, "In many cases the supplementation of a chromium compound may be the most productive way to protect endogenous chromium stores while avoiding the addition of unwanted calories?'

Based on what top experts like Colgan, Lefavi and Fisher have to say, one can conclude that investing in a chromium supplement is prudent. But is it safe? Since chromium is a water-soluble mineral, one would expect that the body has the capacity to dispose of that which it doesn't need, and this is the case. The literature consistently states that urinary chromium excretion avenges from about 0.22 to I mcg per day. This may not seem like very much, but we must remember that the body absorbs only about 0.5 percent of inorganic chromium and anywhere from tO to 25 percent of the more organic, biologically active forms. And remember what I said earlier about muscleheads: Because of the intensity of our training and the constant physical stress we subject our bodies to, we need tons more of the stuff than pencil necks do. Although We of Irondom generally steer clear of highly processed, high-glycemic-index, fat-producing, insulin sensitivity-decreasing, sugary foods like white bread and English muffins, we must remember that our workouts increase the rate at which chromium is pissed out.

Unfortunately chromium does have some deleterious effects on the status of other minerals. In their review of chromium Lefavi, et al. cite evidence showing that chromium may cause other trace elements to be excreted, For example, they say that chromium may compete with iron for binding to certain blood-borne proteins and possibly result in suboptimal iron status. Rare is the mineral or nutrient that does rot have some negative effect on the absorption, binding, etc., of a second nutrient. People who have high protein intakes (read: bodybuilders) face the problem of increased urinary losses of calcium, and I don't hear too many people suggesting that we not eat protein. Calcium, in tam, whether in supplemental form or naturally occurring, can decrease iron absorption by 62 percent. (By the way, sales of calcium supplements have soared in the past few years, and these products continue to be marketed heavily.) One might venture to guess that you needn't lose sleep over moderate chromium supplementation.

Most experts agree that you should go for chromium picolinate first. It is the most biologically active form of the mineral, perhaps second only to brewer's yeast tablets. (However, I have yet to see a brewer's yeast supplement being displayed on the shelves of reputable health-food stores, and you have to take a ton of it to get any appreciable amount of chromium.) To be certain, Dr. Gary Evans, the inventor of chromium picolinate, says, "Athletes, trainers and coaches will find that chromium picolinate is safe and efficacious." Get crackin'!

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU TAKE?

This is the question that seems to intrigue people the most regarding any nutrient. From the available sources I would recommend that you consume anywhere from 200 to 800 mcg of chromium per day. On the basis of anecdotal evidence and the literature (which all seem to agree on the 800 mcg/day limit), 800 mcg is the absolute maximum I would recommend. Okay, so 800 mcg seems like a lot. But I submit to you that chromium is a hell of a lot safer than just about all of the drugs bodybuilders commonly abuse. Besides, we must remember the low rate of absorption. As Dr. Evans points out, a person who ingests 800 mcg of chromium per day will assimilate less than 7mcg - less than 1 percent! (Note: As individuals vary, so will absorption and excretion rates.) Dr. Colgan, who has apparently done extensive research on the subject during more than 18 years of experience with athletes and chromium, says, "Based on our results with hundreds of athletes from club to Olympic status, we decided three years ago to switch entirely to chromium picolinate. In our case studies we use 200 to 800 mcg/day of chromium picolinate, depending on body- weight and other factors." So if you are a big guy (or gal) who trains like a bear and eats a fairly high-carbohydrate diet, you can bet a month's worth of Clenbuterol that taking in up to 800 mcg per day will be appropriate and justified.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

Chromium has been shown experimentally to have both anabolic and fat-decreasing effects, though they will occur at a relatively slow pace. Don't count on chromium to work like anabolic steroids, however. Any such claim is an exaggeration. Realistically, chromium is not a drug and cannot even come close to the results you'll get abusing anabolics like growth hormone, beta-agonists like Clenbuterol, or hardass roids. (No, I'm not encouraging use of these drugs!) Chromium works its magic slowly and in a subtle way. You cannot just take the mineral and expect to wake up the next day with the shreds of the late Andreas Munzer. And an entire truckload of chromium won't help you if you don't train your ass off in the gym and follow a sound dietary regimen. In summary, the effects of chromium supplementation can be listed as follows:

Positive Effects of Chromium Supplementation:

o helps to control blood-sugar levels, leading to more even energy levels and fewer hunger spikes.

o replaces chromium lost by training, stress, poor diet, and a host of other factors which deplete the body's pool of chromium.

o aids insulin in performing its function, thus resulting in better insulin sensitivity, greater muscle growth and speedier fat loss. may help to control and possibly even prevent diabetes.

With these benefits in mind, and provided a sound training and dietary regimen is followed, popping a daily chromium supplement can result in a more buff physique. Chromium picolinate is the safest and most effective brand, so shoot for this type first. I can't emphasize enough that chromium will not have a dramatic effect on your overall ability to grow huge and rock hard, although it may make the road to the physique of your dreams just a little shorter. As Dr. Colgan says, "Chromium picolinate will not build you up and slim you down overnight. But gradually a little more muscle and a little less fat is what you might call 'the picolinate advantage'.






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