T Nation

Anyone Supplementing With Chromium?

As part of my ongoing one man biology/chemistry experiment, I’ve read something in passing from John Meadows about Chromium supplementation. Specifically as a glucose disposal agent to aid in improving blood glucose. I’m already making use of apple cider vinegar as a means of improving insulin sensitivity (no idea if it does, but it’s so cheap I figure it’s worth chasing after), but as the article is from 2010, I was curious if this is anything that ever gained traction or, if like glutamine, it hit a big strike and then faded away.

Anyone out there using Chromium?

Reading there was a study done in Brazil among 71 men and women with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. They took 300mcg chromium after breakfast and dinner for four months and it seemed to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar. However there were a couple similar studies done in the Netherlands that showed no benefit… Looks like its a toss up. If it’s cheap, I say give it a run. Make sure its a tested product because some forms of Chromium are pretty dangerous.

Appreciate it dude. I’ve seen studies, and there’s always someone out there that will run a study that proves/disproves something, haha. It’s why I’m seeing if anyone personally is making use of it. I like being able to hear from members of the community here, and have been pointed in the direction of a few cool ideas from discussions here.

1 Like

I used to, but at the time I was new to lifting and was doing so many things wrong that I wouldn’t have noticed any difference. I’ve actually been mulling over trying it again, so will be watching this thread :metal:

1 Like

I’ve run it before, unfortunately didn’t get any blood tests around the time so no useful data, nothing discernible at all. Berberine also has some positive studies, tried it too but unfortunately no blood tests on that either!

1 Like

Forgot to say, why do you need a GDA? You don’t eat carbs?

Be Your Own Bodybuilding Coach (author: Scott Stevenson) cites five studies on Chromium and has a sub-chapter dedicated to GDAs in the off-season

One is this:

I think you might enjoy the book overall. There’s a lot of material related to nutrition and several nods to Meadows.

Back in the early 90s it was common to use it with vanadyl sulfate. It was thought to slow down the conversion of sugars to fat
(I think, it’s been a while).

@garagerocker13 Appreciate the input either way. Notice any negatives if anything?

@alex_uk Very much appreciate the first hand perspective. Nothing noticable eh? And yeah, I keep carbs on the low side. I’ve tried bumping them up for this weight gain phase, but honestly just don’t feel like I need them much. I’m supposed to squat tomorrow, I’m SUPPOSED to eat higher carb for this day, but I honestly feel fine and that I’m not going to need anything high carb. I’m struggling to come up with breakfast, haha.

@Voxel Sounds like an interesting read. I’ll give it a look. Thanks!

@bighdx That sounds about right. Reminded me of me of what Indigo 3g was advertising. I’m looking at that too. $65 for half a month’s supply is a bit steep.

1 Like

Yeah it was the next big thing back in the 90’s. I tried it and got nothing from it.
Vanadyl sulfate was a little different for me . I would get some great pumps out of it but it would only work for a couple of months so i had to cycle it. I still use it sometimes today.

I suspect one simple way would be to start doing blood glucose finger prick tests to assess your base levels, then start using it to see if there is any difference.

However, one issue with CP, which also applies to other GDAs like berberine, is that they seem to offer promise only in people who are pre-diabetic or already diagnosed as type 2. If you are insulin sensitive, then I cannot really see a mechanism where these supplements could enhance glucose uptake into the muscles and prevent it from being stored as fat instead. Muscles and the liver can only load up on so much glycogen before excess is stored as fat.

Of course, there is always anecdotal evidence to the contrary. I talked to a nutrition store owner about GDAs once and he told me about a product (which I will not name) that he could not get enough of. He claimed bodybuilders swore by it, particularly for cheat days. Its ingredients included CP, berberine, and other common GDAs.

1 Like

What about the AMPK-trigger though? Even if a GDA didn’t help with insulin-sensitivity outside those populations there are times where a person could conceivably want to raise AMPK, no?

That’s a separate question.

And yes, the cell studies do appear to show enhanced AMPK signalling. I suppose my issue here would be that, considering AMPK regulates its counterpart mTOR, you are turning off (or at least, down) the nutrient sensor responsible for anabolism. This is why some folks actually advise against taking GDAs with their pre-WO nutrition.

I’m thinking it’d be best employed on off days

Didn’t really notice much of anything, so indicates a low risk in an n=1, zero blind, uncontrolled study. Haha

1 Like

Wanted to dip back in and say I appreciate all the responses here. Looks like something I can skip out on at this point.

1 Like