Chromium Supplementation Essay, Research Paper
One of the most controversial supplements on the market is chromium. In the body, its natural functions consist of potentiating the activity of insulin and influencing lipid and protein metabolism. It may also be involved in the formation of glycogen in muscle tissue and facilitate the transport of amino acids to the muscles. Chromium can also affect cholesterol metabolism (Williams, 262). There are different claims to this mineral?s benefits, but the most common ones are muscle building, and fat burning. Although it is a big seller in the industry, does it really work?The main users of chromium at one point were body builders. chromium was marketed at first with the promise of building more muscle mass. Unfortunately, it failed to produce results as a muscle builder, and then was introduced as a fat burner. Those who were dieting and some long distance runners interested in holding low weights began to use the supplement and still do today.Although it is advertised as a fat burner, an article in a 1995 issue of the Journal of Sports Medicine and Fitness described an experiment that proved otherwise. A double blind study was conducted among healthy Navy personnel (79 men, 16 women). Participants took one capsule of either chromium picolinate or a placebo per day during a 16-week experiment. Subjects met for a minimum of 3 times/week for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. The chromium group failed to show any greater reduction in body fat, or gains in muscle mass than that of the placebo group. Therefore, the results showed chromium supplements to be ?ineffective in enhancing body fat reduction? (Trent, Linda K., 273). Trent?s experiment was not the only one to prove Chromium?s inadequacies. In 1993, Melissa A. Hallmark et al proved Chromium to be a useless supplement that was only excreted when ingested in excess. In Hallmark?s experiment, sixteen untrained males (23 years old +/- 4) were studied to examine the effects of Chromium supplementation when used during a 12-week training schedule of resistance exercise. The men trained 3 times/week and food records were kept. The results showed that there was no significant difference in muscle gain or weight loss between the placebo group and those who ingested chromium with their diets other than the amount of Chromium excreted. Lacking results have proven chromium as a fat burner to be yet another wait loss quackeryDr. John Vincent at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa has also proven that chromium supplements such as chromium picolinate may even cause cancer. It is said that chromium picolinate ?reacts with vitamin C and other antioxidants in the cells to produce a ‘reduced’ form of chromium capable of causing mutations in DNA, the genetic material? and cause severe damage to chromosomes (University of CA, Berkeley Wellness Letter, Volume 15, Issue 9 June 1999). Overall, chromium supplementation has shown to be useless. Although those who take a supplement generally ingest a small dosage, that amount can be found in food assuming one eats a balanced diet. There is still much to learn about how chromium is used specifically in the body. There is still no real need of supplementation however, as a balanced diet should provide enough chromium for the body. Chromium proves to be yet another disappointment to ergogenic aids. Why bother to use a supplement that has no real positive effects and may be harmful to your health?