Low Chromium Levels: 8 Signs you’ve Lost your Shine

Low chromium levels: 8 signs you’ve lost your shine

Chromium is a tough metal that’s best known for its lustrous shine. But did you know that it could have the same effect on your health? When your chromium levels go out of tune, your natural spark will dim and you might not even know why.

In medical terms, chromium is an essential mineral that plays a role in a whole host of your everyday functions. It’s not produced in the body, instead we rely on diet and supplements to get our levels just right. Chromium is stored in rocks and soil, and permeates through into foods such as yeast, potatoes and meats – it’s even in our water supply.

So, what does this wonder-metal do for my body?

Well, the short answer is that it has a bearing on all of the following body functions:

  • Blood sugar and diabetes control (burns calories, decreases sugar cravings and helps control blood sugar levels) (1)
  • Bone health (helps calcium retention, reduces bone loss and prevents osteoporosis, helps produce DHEA, a steroid hormone) (2)
  • Weight management (aids fat loss, stimulates muscle development, increases physical endurance)
  • Immune system health (3) (boosts DHEA which protects against disease (4), increases antibodies and lowers excess cortisol which is a stress hormone)

One of chromium’s most important roles is in enabling the effective metabolisation of fats. While most research indicates a link between optimal chromium intake and healthy arteries, some studies have even identified that people who died from heart disease had reduced chromium levels at the time of death.    

Chromium is crucial for the signalling pathways that determine our body’s ability to control sugar intake. This balances blood/glucose levels and keeps energy levels stable, helping you to be your normal vibrant self.

8 warning signs that you’re chromium deficient

Finding out that you’re deficient can be a tricky task, with many of the warning signs typically being put down to age or stress. These are the eight warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore:

  • Elevated  blood sugar and possibly hyperglycemia, or impaired glucose tolerance
  • Low blood sugar, and possibly hypoglycemia
  • Bone weakening
  • Low energy/fatigue
  • Low concentration/ poor memory (5)
  • Poor skin and/or eye health
  • Mood changes and increased anxiety
  • Changes in appetite or weight (6)
  • Increased injury healing time (e.g. wounds or post-surgery) (7)

What are the long-term effects of chromium deficiency?

Diabetes

It could increase your chances of becoming glucose-intolerant which may result in you either developing or becoming diabetic.

Weight gain

It could result in weight gain as you’d be unable to manage and metabolise blood sugars efficiently. It also plays a role in hunger and carbohydrate cravings that is not yet fully understood.

Cognitive health

It could leave you feeling permanently fatigued and unable to focus properly.

Skin and eye health

Chromium deficiency is likely to result in the onset of skin conditions such as acne (8). If the deficiency leads to the onset of diabetes, your chances of getting glaucoma would also increase.

Bone health

Chromium helps your body to retain calcium, preventing osteoporosis. A deficiency could make bones brittle, and is most prevalent amongst menopausal or postmenopausal women. If you are supplementing with calcium, please remember that magnesium and vitamin D are also needed to assist calcium absorption into your bones.

How to restore and maintain chromium levels naturally

Recommended chromium levels vary depending on your age, gender, weight, fitness and general health. If undertaking a course of restorative medicine, practitioners generally recommend a dosage between 50 and 200 micrograms daily, although a higher dosage can be used to treat a specific illness.

Here’s a breakdown of recommended chromium levels for demographics to get you started:

Teenagers (14 – 18 years) 35 micrograms (boys), 24 micrograms (girls)
Adults (19 – 50 years) 35 micrograms (boys), 25 micrograms (girls)
Pregnant/breastfeeding women 30 micrograms

 

8 warning signs that you’re chromium deficient

8 warning signs that you’re chromium deficient

There are two main ways to ensure that your levels remain balanced for optimal health; diet and supplements. Many everyday foods contain chromium, so don’t go throwing out all your recipe books just yet. Here’s some of the top performers:

Broccoli Pork chops (organic)
Grapes Calf’s liver (organic)
Potatoes Oysters, lobster tail
Garlic Scallops, shrimp
Basil Green pepper
Grass-fed Beef Pork chops (organic)
Oranges Fresh chilli
Turkey Carrots
Green Beans Eggs
Red Wine, Beer Spinach, cabbage
Apples Parsnips
Bananas Blueberries

Up to 90% of the chromium content found in food is lost in food processing, so foods should be eaten unprocessed and, most likely, together with chromium supplementation. Also, the soil we grow our food in today is generally depleted of many important minerals, including selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and silicon (silica) so try to buy organic or from your local farm.

Supplements are another great way to enhance your chromium levels. However, the body struggles to absorb chromium by itself, so nutritional experts recommend taking a product which combines it with protein picolinate, to enable better entry into the  bloodstream. Picolinate also increases the absorption of zinc, copper and iron.

Finding an optimal balance of chromium levels can do so much to improve your health. Whether you’ve become chromium deficient through heavy exercise, antacid use, a high carbohydrate diet or overdosing on refined sugar, or just through depletion in the ageing process, simply stick to these dietary and nutritional pointers, and you can rediscover the real you!   

References:

  1. Sharma S, Agrawal RP, Choudhary M, Jain S, Goyal S, Agarwal V. Beneficial effect of chromium supplementation on glucose, HbA1C and lipid variables in individuals with newly onset type-2 diabetes. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011 Jul;25(3):149-53.
    Kleefstra N, Bilo HJ, Bakker SJ, Houweling ST. [Chromium and insulin resistance]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2004 Jan 31;148(5):217-20.
    Lamson DW, Plaza SM. The safety and efficacy of high-dose chromium.
    Altern Med Rev. 2002 Jun;7(3):218-35.
  2. McCarty MFAnabolic effects of insulin on bone suggest a role for chromium picolinate in preservation of bone density. Med Hypotheses. 1995 Sep;45(3):241-6.
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037784019502016S
  4. Shrivastava R, Upreti RK, Seth PK, Chaturvedi UC.Effects of chromium on the immune system. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2002 Sep 6;34(1):1-7.
  5. Krikorian R, Eliassen JC, Boespflug EL, Nash TA, Shidler MD.Improved cognitive-cerebral function in older adults with chromium supplementation. Nutr Neurosci. 2010 Jun;13(3):116-22.
  6. Martin J, Wang ZQ, Zhang XH, Wachtel D, Volaufova J, Matthews DE, Cefalu WT.Chromium picolinate supplementation attenuates body weight gain and increases insulin sensitivity in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006 Aug;29(8):1826-32.
  7. Jin Y, Liu L, Zhang S, Tao B, Tao R, He X, Qu L, Huang J, Wang X, Fu Z.
    Chromium alters lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses both in vivo and in vitro. Chemosphere. 2016 Apr;148:436-43.
  8. Jamilian M, Bahmani F, Siavashani MA3, Mazloomi M, Asemi Z, Esmaillzadeh A.The Effects of Chromium Supplementation on Endocrine Profiles, Biomarkers of Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Jul;172(1):72-8.

Am I too old for Iron Deficiency?

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Why this is a myth and what to do about it.

Iron is a crucial mineral that promotes a wide variety of functions within the body, but its deficiency can often be misdiagnosed.

Optimal levels depend on your age and gender; however, medical knowledge focuses more on some specific demographics’ susceptibility to deficiency. Doctors are keenly aware that women of reproductive age lose iron as a result of their menstrual cycle, and even more so if they are pregnant or breastfeeding – but what about the rest of us?

Iron requirements decrease as a result of the menopause, but a base level is still needed – you’re never too old to be deficient. And, because many of the symptoms of iron deficiency match those of the menopause, doctors can often mislabel symptoms. So, if you’re feeling listless, here’s how to make sure that your iron levels are in balance, to promote top health and rediscover your spark.

What role does iron perform within the body?

We generally have 3 to 4 grams of iron in our body at any given time, with a large portion stored as haemoglobin and the remainder spread between the liver, spleen, your bone marrow and muscle tissue.

Iron is a wonder-nutrient, helping us to perform a whole host of daily functions. Most crucially, it helps generate the red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body, and it also plays an important role in metabolising proteins.

Why do we get deficient?

A low level of iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the US, with over 10% of women falling below recommended levels.

Women are the more likely sufferers of iron deficiency as they lose the mineral as part of the reproductive cycle – but anyone can be affected through excessive blood loss, poor diet, or conditions that prevent iron absorption.

Research shows that the following groups are especially at risk of an iron deficiency:

Vegetarians/vegans Fitness fanatics
Pregnant or breastfeeding women People who have lost or given blood
People undergoing dialysis Sufferers of GTI disorders, such as Crohn’s
Regular takers of antacids People with ulcers

What are the warning signs?

The number one symptom of an iron deficiency is anaemia, which means that your body isn’t creating enough red blood cells to carry oxygen round the body.

If you can’t carry enough oxygen, your brain and muscles will be denied the nutrients that they need, and you’ll start to feel weak and lethargic. Iron promotes general wellbeing and helps to boost energy levels, and is also involved in the enzymatic functions that control your metabolism and help you digest foods properly. Optimising your levels will improve brain and heart health, boost energy levels, and make your skin, hair, nails and waistline look better.

Many signs of an iron deficiency match up to the symptoms of a hormone deficiency. Here are the main warning signs to look out for:

Anaemia or increased blood sugar Changes to appetite or weight
Chronic fatigue Decreased immune function
Pale or yellowing of the skin Cough
Shortness of breath Low concentration or memory
Abnormal heartbeats or increased body tension Sores on your mouth or tongue
Muscle weakness or restless leg syndrome Mood changes

How to use supplements to naturally restore your iron levels

Fortunately, iron deficiency can be identified by a simple blood test and treated easily with the right diet and supplements.

In terms of diet, look out for whole-foods with high iron levels, such as

  • organic/grass-fed meat
  • poultry
  • eggs
  • dairy products
  • fruit
  • veg (dark greens particularly)
  • whole grains

And, iron is more easily absorbed when eaten with certain other foods, so, for example, try pairing foods rich in vitamin C (leafy salads and citrus fruits) with pulses for a better iron hit. Other substances that increase iron absorption are: cysteine, folic acid, Vitamin b6, and zinc.

Iron supplementation is also a great way to overcome a deficiency, especially if you’re in one of the ‘at risk’ groups. However, side-effects of an iron overload (more than 45 mg per day) include nausea and constipation, and intake can be altered by calcium supplements or medication for conditions such as Parkinson’s or cancer. All in all, it’s best to speak to an expert in restorative medicine to make sure your levels stay perfectly balanced.

Could an iron boost be the key to rediscovering your natural vivacity? Follow our simple suggestions and find out.

Here’s some iron-rich foods to consider on your next shop:

iron food sources table

 

Why is Zinc Deficiency often Misdiagnosed

Why is zinc deficiency often misdiagnosed?

How to identify and fight it

Zinc is an essential trace element and mineral that’s found in all living beings. It’s known as ‘essential’ for a reason: it has a major effect on your overall health. In fact, it performs more biological roles within the body than all other elements combined.

However, your body has no means of producing or storing the mineral, so it’s tough to regulate your intake – the World Health Organisation estimates that 31% of people globally are zinc deficient. Ensuring that your levels are optimised will help you maintain your natural sparkle.

Why are we just starting to notice how common zinc deficiency is?

Though known as a crucial element for plants and animals since the early 1900’s, it took another 60 years before scientists began to investigate zinc’s effect on humans, and clinicians focused more on the effects of iron deficiency. The mineral was finally identified as essential only in 2009.

Zinc is mainly obtained via diet and the foods you eat. But even if you eat three balanced meals a day, it’s not quite that simple – modern food doesn’t contain as much zinc as in our cavemen ancestors time, for three key reasons:

  1. The soil we grow our food in is widely depleted of crucial minerals including zinc, selenium and chromium due to conventional agricultural methods
  2. Industrialised food processing rinses out up to 50% of zinc through mechanical and chemical processes
  3. Cooking habits – we don’t often risk eating raw meat or veg today, but cooking to being ‘well-done’, fries essential minerals to a crisp, preventing them from being absorbed by your body

Up to 2 billion people globally have a marginal zinc deficiency – but this is not severe enough for them to realise their condition, or for it to be easily diagnosed because symptoms are common to many other conditions.

How would I notice if I were zinc deficient?

Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with enzymatic reactions, binding to electron-rich cell proteins to interact with amino acid side chains. But what does this actually mean for your general health and wellbeing? You might notice some of the following if you become deficient:

  • a loss of appetite
  • occasional moodiness
  • numbed smell and taste
  • immune system compromised: for example, getting a lot of colds and/or flu
  • diarrhoea or ‘leaky gut’
  • increased allergies sensitivity

If you notice these symptoms, you should consider supplementing with zinc to enhance your levels.

Here are some aspects of your health zinc can help with and maintain:

Cell growth Immune system Metabolic rate
Eye health Taste and smell Histamine storage
Gene expression Blood sugar levels Protein synthesis
Respiratory system Cell functionality and division Digestion

Zinc is needed for bone formation and enhances the biochemical actions of Vitamin D. As an added bonus, zinc is also considered an antioxidant, helping to protect you from free radical molecules that cause tissue damage and speed up the ageing process.  It is important to note that the absorption of zinc decreases naturally with age, so you need to be more proactive with your intake as you get older.

How can I supplement my zinc intake?

The best way to naturally increase your zinc intake is by adapting your diet to include some of the following foods, but make sure they are organically grown and contain all the required minerals and necessary nutrients to support your health:

Liver Oysters
Crimini mushrooms Pumpkin seeds
Spinach Beef
Sea vegetables Green peas
Raw milk and cheese Beans

Remember organic is best, and of course, always try to eat real food, not processed. Also, try boiling, poaching and steaming (and avoid microwaving, frying and charbroiling) to ensure that the zinc is still apparent and absorbable when you eat.

Note: cigarette smoke can cause zinc deficiency. Just something to think about.

Restoring your zinc levels to their natural optimum can enhance your overall physical and mental health, and help prevent a myriad of health conditions. And, it’s so easy to achieve: with simple diet improvements and nutritional supplements, you could find a whole new lease of life!

While stocks last during February, we’re offering a fantastic 50% off Natural Energy Zinc capsules.

Why Magnesium Deficiency makes you ill

How to Spot the Signs and What to do

women magnesium deficiency
Just look around the room; chances are that almost everyone in your eye-line is suffering from magnesium deficiency in one form or another. But, with symptoms so common that they’re often attributed to other ailments, and a lack of relevant clinical research, most of us don’t ever realise why we’re suffering.

Why magnesium is crucial for your general health

The fourth most common mineral in the body, magnesium is both a mineral and electrolyte that helps pass electrical signals along the nerves in your body. You may have seen sports drinks adverts that claim electrolytes are lost through sweat, resulting in cramp: but this is just the tip of the electrolyte-impact iceberg.

Without magnesium, your heart would stop beating, your muscles would seize up and your brain would stop processing information. A co-factor of an astonishing 300+ bodily reactions, magnesium helps regulate your temperature, maintain energy levels, form bones and teeth, and fight cardiovascular disease. Magnesium levels are reduced by stress factors, which can subsequently initiate or worsen chronic illnesses.

Why the symptoms of deficiency are very common and hard to diagnose

Conventional medicine has struggled to identify magnesium deficiency because of its reliance on blood tests. Magnesium in blood is crucial to ward off heart attacks, so your body will supplement any loss in the bloodstream by robbing reserves in bone or muscle tissue. Therefore, all blood tests typically show similar levels. However, 99% of our magnesium reserves are in muscle and bone tissue, which aren’t usually tested. So a deficiency can go completely under the radar.

Over 3,750 magnesium binding sites have now been found within the human body, meaning that a deficiency of this under-loved electrolyte could trigger or exacerbate a whole host of conditions, including:

OsteoporosisAsthmaAnxiety
Insomnia Blood clots Depression
Muscular and back pain Bowel disease Lethargy
Muscle crampsCystitis Impaired cognitive ability
SeizuresDiabetes Foggy memory
Constipation Cardiovascular disease Fatigue
Headaches HypoglycaemiaTendonitis
Migraines Kidney and liver disease Aggression
High blood pressure (Hypertension) Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.) Obstetrical/gynaecological problems (PMS, infertility, and pre-eclampsia)
Nerve problems Tooth decay Tension

Any of these sound familiar? Women may be particularly prone, because excess oestrogens, present during the early stages of the menopause (or perimenopause), also create a magnesium deficiency.

Beating magnesium deficiency for improved health and wellbeing

There’s so many simple ways that you can boost your magnesium levels and recover your natural balance. Here’s just a few:

  1. Start by supplementing with high quality magnesium: your doctor trained in restorative medicine can also prescribe these for you as part of a general health rebalance.
  2. Change to an organic diet featuring magnesium-rich food (including dark chocolate!)
  3. Slather yourself in magnesium oil
  4.  Take a long soak in an Epsom salt bath – it will boost your sulphur levels too
  5. Try to avoid prolonged stressful activities
  6. Reduce sugar intake – it takes 54 molecules of magnesium to metabolise one sugar molecule
  7. Stay away from synthetic oestrogen compounds

The changes might start subtly, but you should definitely notice when your magnesium levels start to fall back in line. When your balance is restored, the stress which can cause magnesium deficiency is reduced, along with the potency of chronic symptoms.

Restoring your natural optimum magnesium levels doesn’t just fight or eliminate the conditions listed above: because many of the remedies are part of a generally healthier lifestyle (such as improved diet and a calmer outlook), you could find your general health and energy is stronger than ever before.

Why is Iodine so Important?

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Why iodine is so important

Did you know that iodine is the most important trace element for human health and that every cell in your body requires iodine to function correctly? And that a whopping 72% of the world’s population is deficient in iodine? Our glands, especially thyroid, ovaries, testes, pituitary and adrenals need iodine for the production of hormones.

Hormones are the essence of life. Without them we could not function.

Iodine deficiency

When there is a deficiency in iodine, the body cannot repair itself because the building hormones, such as growth hormone, IGF and testosterone, all require iodine.

Guess what happens? The body slowly breaks down. The body needs iodine for healthy cellular and metabolic functioning, it is almost impossible to achieve optimal health when there is an iodine deficiency.

Today iodine is perhaps the most misunderstood and overlooked mineral but its importance cannot be overstated.

Iodine deficiency has been linked to breast cancer, along with ovarian, uterine, prostate cysts and cancers. Iodine signals death to cancer cells. With low iodine breast tissue can become cystic and fibrous and fibroids may occur in the uterus.

Women suffering from fibroid cysts respond well to iodine supplementation.

Thyroid connection

The thyroid is a very important gland and cannot function correctly when there is a deficiency in iodine. The primary function of the thyroid is to balance metabolism.

When the thyroid gland dysfunctions, it produces less thyroid hormone, a condition known as hypothyroidism.

When hypothyroidism occurs, the body becomes sluggish and this is when we see weight gain – oh no, who wants to get fat?

Also, with iodine deficiency you may have poor concentration – your job may depend on this! You may feel exhausted and depressed, you may suffer from craving for foods such as carbohydrates and sweets, and you may feel cold when other people feel hot.

You may also have dry skin and/or hair loss. All these symptoms are characteristic of women with an iodine deficiency.

When your thyroid suffers, the rest of your body suffers – everything in the body is interconnected. There is a major connection between low thyroid production and low adrenal production.

When the adrenals are low, you can be sure your sex life will be on a ‘go slow’ too – that’s because your sex hormones are low as well.

Do any of you recognise these symptoms?

How to protect yourself

Be aware of bromide, aluminium, lead, chlorine and fluoride that are found in our drinking water, and mercury fillings that some of you may still have, as any iodine you have in your body will be used up in order to remove these extremely toxic chemicals. Iodine is known to increase the excretion of these toxins.