Can’t stay awayfrom sugar? “Carb cravings” interfering with your diet plan?
At the Tahoma Clinic, for more than 20 years we’ve been helping folks greatly diminish sugar and carbohydrate cravings—often eliminating them entirely—within four to eight weeks. The “secret” is a supplemental mineral, chromium. But the typical 200 micrograms a day found in most chromium supplements won’t do the job.
As always, let’s cover safety. Industrially used hexavalent chromium, the type featured in the Erin Brockovich movie, can be quite toxic. But trivalent chromium, the type found in food and supplements, has a “low order of toxicity”‘ for both humans and animals. According to the World Health Organization,2 cats tolerate 1,000 milligrams daily and rats showed no adverse effects from 100 milligrams per kilogram in their daily diet.
After reading a publication by chromium expert Dr. Richard Anderson stating that 70,000 micrograms (70 milligrams) of chromium daily is the safe upper limit, I tried 40,000 micrograms daily myself for six months (no, I don’t recommend this for anyone for any purpose) and noted no negative or positive effects — although the chromium content found in my hair mineral analysis certainly went very high!
If you have sugar or carb cravings, how much supplemental chromium should you use? I recommend starting with 3,000 to 4,000 micrograms (not milligrams) daily, and gradually tapering down toward 1,000 micrograms for “daily maintenance” (the minimum quantity usually found effective for reduction of insulin resistance) as the cravings diminish and disappear. Individuals who have type 2 diabetes themselves or in their families often need to remain at this level to keep sugar and carb cravings away. But for those without this problem themselves or in their families, further tapering down toward the 100 to 200 µg often found over-thecounter is usually possible.
In 2005, researchers published the first double-blind, placebocontrolled verification of the ability of chromium to control carbohydrate cravings.’ The research was done with individuals diagnosed with “atypical depression,” a major subtype of depression characterized by “mood reactivity,” which means they become less depressed when something positive happens or is likely to happen, as compared with individuals with “typical” depression, who stay depressed no matter what happens. Individuals with atypical depression often are significantly overweight, have increased appetites, sleep more than average, have “heavy feelings” in their arms or legs, and have unusual sensitivity to perceived interpersonal rejection that can lead to social impairment.
Compared with the placebo group, the group that took chromium (600 micrograms daily, from chromium picolinate) showed significant improvements on four items—appetite increase, increased eating, carbohydrate craving, and variation of feelings over 24 hours— measured in a standardized 29-item test, the “Hamilton Depression Rating Score.”
Volunteers with unusually high carbohydrate cravings who took chromium also had a significantly greater response on “total depression” scores than did the placebo group, as well as significantly greater improvements on the following individual items on the test: appetite increase, increased eating, carbohydrate craving, and level of libido.
For more than 20 years, it has been my observation that 3,000 to 4,000 micrograms of chromium daily will greatly reduce or eliminate carbohydrate cravings.