Chromium just might qualify as the best holistic supplement that you never heard of. On his Feb. 21 show, Dr. Mehmet Oz explained why this natural supplement can enhance your health, from speeding up fat loss to helping with diabetes. Think that you get enough of it? An estimated 90 percent of us are deficient, according to Dr. Oz.
What it is: Chromium is an essential trace element that enhances insulin's effects and is key in blood sugar metabolism. Studies show that it can help you lose fat while making your body more effective at lowering blood sugar. One study, for example, showed that women who took it lost more fat while preserving more muscle, while another study showed that it can help with insulin resistance while improving the symptoms of diabetes. Although small amounts are present in foods such as romaine lettuce, meat and whole grains, most of us do not get enough through food. For that reason, Dr. Oz suggests considering chromium supplements. If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, talk with your doctor about the possible benefits and, if recommended, about how much to take.
Here's what to consider in choosing and taking a chromium supplement:
- The recommended dosage is 200 mcg daily.
- Take chromium before or after a meal. Do not take it at the same time as other medications or multivitamins.