Suppliments our body needs


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Chromium is a mineral that humans require in trace amounts. It’s found in small quantities in foods such as brewer’s yeast, calf liver, whole grains, processed meats and cheese.
In 1959, chromium was first identified as an element that enables the hormone insulin to function properly.


Since then, chromium has been studied for diabetes and has become a popular dietary supplement. It is widely available in health food stores, drug stores and online.

Definition :
Chromium, a “transition” metal, is of intermediate atomic weight – that is, it is not considered either a heavy metal or a light metal. It is found primarily in three chemical states depending on its electrical charge. Common forms are chromium-0, which has no charge, chromium+3, which has an ionic charge of plus 3, and chromium+6, which has a charge of plus 6.

Chrome metal (the form chromium-0) is the element that makes steel “stainless.” Chromium in this form is hard, stable, and resistant to chemical changes such as oxidation or rust. Steel alloyed with chromium is harder and less brittle than iron and highly rust-resistant. This form of chromium is also used to coat or “chrome plate” the surface of other metals to produce a hard, shiny, chemically resistant surface.

The primary form of chromium found in the environment is chromium+3, which is also quite stable. This common form of chromium is always found in a complex with other chemical partners such as oxygen or chlorine. In these compounds it is very “inert to substitution”, that is, it is resistant to changing its form or exchanging its chemical partners.

Though small quantities of chromium+6 are found in nature, most of the chromium in this form is man-made. Chromium+6 is easily and rapidly reduced to chromium+3 by many chemicals and conditions, so it is not very stable in the environment. Like chromium+3, chromium+6 is usually found in chemical complexes with other elements, for example bound with several oxygen atoms to form chromate. It is very difficult to oxidize chromium+3 to chromium+6, though it can be done with strong oxidizing agents and very high temperatures. An industrial process called “roasting” is used to oxidize the chromium+3 derived from ores into chromium+6, a form used in a wide variety of commercial products.

Where is chromium found?
Chromium is widely dispersed in the environment. In the Earth’s crust chromium is present at an average of 140 parts per million (ppm), but is not distributed evenly. High concentrations of chromium can be found in certain ores, which are mined commercially.

There are trace amounts of chromium in rocks and soil, in fresh water and ocean water, in the food we eat and drink and in the air we breathe. Levels of chromium in the air are generally higher in urban areas and in places where chromium wastes or “slag” from production facilities were used as landfill.

Chromium wastes have been detected in many landfills and toxic waste sites across the country, usually in combination with other metals and chemicals. In the Aberjona River watershed near Boston Massachusetts, industrial wastes containing chromium contaminated the river and pond sediments. In some areas the sediments contain as much as one to two percent chromium by weight. However, recent studies suggest that people living nearby have received very little exposure to the chromium from these sediments. The principal impact is ecological in areas such as this, where concentrations of several toxic materials collectively threaten aquatic food webs and the wildlife they support.
General Uses of chromium
Chromium is used in paints, dyes, stains, wood preservatives, curing compounds, rust inhibitors and many other products. However, the predominant use of chromium is for production of stainless steel and in chrome plating. A radioactive form of chromium is used in medicine to tag, or label, red blood cells inside the human body. The labeling is permanent for the lifetime of that cell, so it is a useful way to look at long-term patterns of blood cell turnover in the body, to look for evidence of internal bleeding and for similar studies.

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Because of commercial demand, chromium-containing ores have been mined and processed intensively over the past century, and many industries manufacture or use chromium containing compounds.

Chromium for health
Humans need chromium, in the form of chromium+3, for proper health. However, most people get all the daily chromium they need from a normal, well-balanced diet.

Nutritionists have learned over the past century that certain substances, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to normal functioning and health. These substances are not made in the body, so they must come from foods. (The British Navy discovered this connection in the 1700s, when they observed that sailors on long sea voyages often developed a condition called scurvy. Adding citrus fruits such as limes to the sailors’ diets prevented the condition. This is how English sailors first came to be known as “Limeys.”) Since chromium is present in all foods, and is especially high in certain plants, few people are deficient in dietary chromium.

Chromium act as a nutrient:
The best known nutritional effect of chromium is that it appears to assist insulin in regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels. Insulin is a small protein hormone that is released into the blood when blood glucose levels get too high. Insulin then binds to a receptor on the outside of cells, causing them to absorb more glucose from blood, returning blood glucose levels to normal. If glucose levels fall too low, other signals in the body prompt cells to release glucose to the blood. This “seesaw” glucose regulation is disrupted in people with diabetes, usually due to a lack of insulin production or a failure of cells to properly respond to insulin. Chromium appears to enhance the effects of insulin once insulin binds to its receptor.

Human bodies do not appear to store or absorb chromium+3 very well, taking up only 1 or 2 percent of the total chromium available in the intestines from food. But humans do have a way to take up more chromium when it is needed – the lower the body’s level of chromium, the more efficiently it is taken up from the intestines. Chromium+3 does not easily cross cell membranes, and it appears to interact with cells only when needed, which suggests that it is stored in a form the body can rapidly mobilize, either in blood or nearby where blood can easily draw on it.

The form of chromium associated with enhancing insulin’s effect is a complex of several chromium+3 atoms bound together with amino acids. The response of cells to insulin is much greater in the presence of this LMWCr complex (also called chromodulin). The complex appears to be different from the storage form of chromium in the blood, which is not yet well defined.

Recently, Dartmouth toxicologist Joshua Hamilton and his colleagues discovered that chromium also affects the other side of the “seesaw” that controls blood glucose levels, increasing cell signals that offset the effects of insulin. This appears to be through interaction with another as yet unknown protein receptor on the surface of cells. The mechanism for this effect and the identity of this new receptor are intriguing research questions that remain to be answered. There may also be other uses of chromium by the body that remain to be discovered.

Views on Chromium
Chromium is also believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats. It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. One form in particular, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. In 1995, a study headed by Diane Stearns, PhD, at Dartmouth College generated controversy about the safety of chromium picolinate. Click to see:->Chromium for Weight Control
The researchers added high concentrations of chromium picolinate, chromium chloride or chromium nicotinate to hamster cells in culture and found that only chromium picolinate could damage the genetic material of the hamster cells.

Since then, other laboratory studies using cell cultures and animals have suggested chromium picolinate causes oxidative stress and DNA damage.

Critics say that the scientists used unrealistically high doses and that administering chromium to cells in test tubes is not the same as taking chromium supplements orally.

No adverse events have been consistently and frequently reported with short-term chromium use in human studies. For this reason, the Institute of Medicine has not set a recommended upper limit for chromium.

You may click to see :-> Benefits, Deficiency and Food Sources of Chromium

Some Informations on Safety of Chromium
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine reviewed the safety information on chromium for a prototype monograph and concluded that chromium picolinate is safe when used in a way consistent with published clinical data (up to 1.6 milligrams of chromium picolinate per day or 200 micrograms of chromium per day for three to six months).
There is very little information, however, about the safety of long-term use of chromium. There have been rare clinical case reports of adverse side effects after taking chromium picolinate supplements.

For example, a report published in the journal The Annals of Pharmacotherapy described the case of a 33-year-old woman who developed kidney failure, liver damage, and anemia after taking 1,200 to 2,400 micrograms of chromium picolinate (approximately six to 12 times the recommended daily allowance) for five months for weight loss.

The woman was being actively treated with antipsychotic medication, so it’s difficult to say whether it was the chromium, the combination of chromium with the medication, or another medical problem that predisposed her to such a reaction.

In a separate case report, a 24-year-old man who had been taking a supplement containing chromium picolinate for two weeks during his workout sessions developed acute kidney failure. Although chromium picolinate was the suspected cause, it’s important to note that there were other ingredients in the supplement which may have been responsible.

There are some concerns that chromium picolinate may affect levels of neurotransmitters (substances in the body that transmit nerve impulses). This may potentially be a concern for people with conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Chromium picolinate may have an additive effect if combined with diabetes medication and cause blood glucose levels to dip too low. That’s why it’s important to talk your doctor before taking any form of chromium if you are also taking diabetes medication.

Chromium supplements taken with medications that block the formation of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances), such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, and aspirin, may increase the absorption of chromium in the body.

The safety of chromium picolinate in pregnant or nursing women has not been established. Although there is no human data, chromium picolinate administered to pregnant mice was found to cause skeletal birth defects in the developing fetus.

Bottom Line
Given that chromium picolinate supplements in high doses appear to provide very little if any health benefit while possibly carrying some risk, it is my opinion that high doses of chromium picolinate should be avoided, at least until there is more compelling evidence of benefit, or more evidence about side effects.
If you are currently taking chromium picolinate supplements and are experiencing any new symptoms, including the following, call your doctor:

*Unexplained bruising
*Skin rash or blisters
*Urinate less than normal
*Feel very tired
*Loss of appetite
*Nausea or vomiting
*Sleep disturbances

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Pomegranate – A Delicious Fruit

Botanical Name: Punica granatum
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Punica
Species: P. granatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms: Grenadier. Cortex granati. Ecorce de Granade. Granatwurzelrinde. Melogranato. Malicorio. Scorzo del Melogranati. Cortezade Granada.  Punica florida, Punica grandiflora, Punica nana. Punica spinosa.

Common Names: Pomegranate,  Dwarf Pomegranate ,  Granada (Spanish), Grenade (French). The name “pomegranate” derives from Latin pomum (“apple”) and granatus (“seeded”).

Parts Used: The root, bark, the fruits, the rind of the fruit, the flowers.

Habitat: Pomegranate is native to Western Asia. Now grows widely in Mediterranean countries, China and Japan. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north Africa and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, and the drier parts of southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona. In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere. It grows on the dry limestone soils to 2700 metres in the Himalayas.

Related Species: Punica proto-punica.

ADAPTATION:Pomegranates prefer a semi-arid mild-temperate to subtropical climate and are naturally adapted to regions with cool winters and hot summers. A humid climate adversely affects the formation of fruit. The tree can be severely injured by temperatures below 12° F. In the U. S. pomegranates can be grown outside as far north as southern Utah and Washington, D.C. but seldom set fruit in these areas. The tree adapts well to container culture and will sometimes fruit in a greenhouse.

The Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5–8 m tall. The pomegranate is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region including Armenia since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout Iran, India and the drier parts of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa. The tree was introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769. In the United States, it is grown for its fruits mainly in the drier parts of California and Arizona.

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The leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, glossy, narrow oblong, entire, 3–7 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are bright red, 3 cm in diameter, with five petals (often more on cultivated plants). The fruit is between an orange and a grapefruit in size, 7–12 cm in diameter with a rounded hexagonal shape, and has thick reddish skin and around 600 seeds. The edible parts are the seeds and the red seed pulp surrounding them. There are some cultivars which have been introduced that have a range of pulp colours like purple.

The only other species in the genus Punica, Socotra Pomegranate (Punica protopunica), is endemic to the island of Socotra. It differs in having pink (not red) flowers and smaller, less sweet fruit. Pomegranates are drought tolerant, and can be grown in dry areas with either a Mediterranean winter rainfall climate or in summer rainfall climates. In wetter areas, they are prone to root decay from fungal diseases. They are tolerant of moderate frost, down to about −10°C.

GROWTH HABIT:The pomegranate is a neat, rounded shrub or small tree that can grow to 20 or 30 ft., but more typically to 12 to 16 ft. in height. Dwarf varieties are also known. It is usually deciduous, but in certain areas the leaves will persist on the tree. The trunk is covered by a red-brown bark which later becomes gray. The branches are stiff, angular and often spiny. There is a strong tendency to sucker from the base. Pomegranates are also long-lived. There are specimens in Europe that are known to be over 200 years of age. The vigor of a pomegranate declines after about 15 years, however.
FOILAGE: The pomegranate has glossy, leathery leaves that are narrow and lance-shaped.


The attractive scarlet, white or variegated flowers are over an inch across and have 5 to 8 crumpled petals and a red, fleshy, tubular calyx which persists on the fruit. The flowers may be solitary or grouped in twos and threes at the ends of the branches. The pomegranate is self-pollinated as well as cross-pollinated by insects. Cross-pollination increases the fruit set. Wind pollination is insignificant.

The nearly round, 2-1/2 to 5 in. wide fruit is crowned at the base by the prominent calyx. The tough, leathery skin or rind is typically yellow overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red. The interior is separated by membranous walls and white, spongy, bitter tissue into compartments packed with sacs filled with sweetly acid, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp or aril. In each sac there is one angular, soft or hard seed. High temperatures are essential during the fruiting period to get the best flavor. The pomegranate may begin to bear in 1 year after planting out, but 2-1/2 to 3 years is more common. Under suitable conditions the fruit should mature some 5 to 7 months after bloom.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained fertile soil and succeeds in a hot dry position[166]. Requires a sheltered sunny position. Not very hardy in Britain, the pomegranate tolerates temperatures down to about -11°c, but it is best grown on a south facing wall even in the south of the country because it requires higher summer temperatures than are normally experienced in this country in order to ripen its fruit and its wood. The wood is also liable to be cut back by winter frosts when it is grown away from the protection of a wall[11]. Trees do not grow so well in the damper western part of Britain. Most plants of this species grown in Britain are of the dwarf cultivar ‘Nana’. This is hardier than the type but its fruit is not such good quality. This sub-species fruited on an east-facing wall at Kew in the hot summer of 1989. The pomegranate is often cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties. In Britain fruits are only produced after very hot summers. Plants often sucker freely. Flowers are produced on the tips of the current years growth. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features:Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse, preferably at a temperature of 22°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first 2 growing seasons. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 4 – 5cm with a heel, June/July in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, 20 – 25cm long, November in a warm greenhouse. Layering. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we prefer to pot them up first and plant them out when they are growing away well in late spring or early summer


One pomegranate delivers 40% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. It is also a rich source of folic acid and of antioxidants. Pomegranates are high in polyphenols. The most abundant polyphenols in pomegranate are hydrolysable tannins, particularly punicalagins, which have been shown in many peer-reviewed research publications to be the antioxidant responsible for the free-radical scavenging ability of pomegranate juice.

Many food and dietary supplement makers have found the advantages of using pomegranate extracts (which have no sugar, calories, or additives), instead of the juice, as healthy ingredients in their products. Many pomegranate extracts are essentially ellagic acid, which is largely a by-product of the juice extraction process. Ellagic acid has only been shown in published studies to absorb into the body when consumed as ellagitannins such as punicalagins.

In several human clinical trials, the juice of the pomegranate has been found effective in reducing several heart risk factors, including LDL oxidation, macrophage oxidative status, and foam cell formation, all of which are steps in atherosclerosis and heart disease. Tannins have been identified as the primary components responsible for the reduction of oxidative states which lead to these risk factors. Pomegranate has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by inhibiting serum angiotension converting enzyme (ACE).

Click to see :..>Pomegranates help burn fat, increase blood flow

Research suggests that pomegranate juice may be effective against prostate cancer and osteoarthritis.

The juice can also be used as an antiseptic when applied to cuts[citation needed].

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Madison recently discovered the potential benefits of pomegranate juice in stopping the growth of lung cancer.

The juice of wild pomegranates yields citric acid and sodium citrate for pharmaceutical purposes. Pomegranate juice enters into preparations for treating dyspepsia and is considered beneficial in leprosy.

The bark of the stem and root contains several alkaloids including isopelletierine which is active against tapeworms. Either a decoction of the bark, which is very bitter, or the safer, insoluble Pelletierine Tannate may be employed. Overdoses are emetic and purgative, produce dilation of pupila, dimness of sight, muscular weakness and paralysis.

Because of their tannin content, extracts of the bark, leaves, immature fruit and fruit rind have been given as astringents to halt diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhages. Dried, pulverized flower buds are employed as a remedy for bronchitis. In Mexico, a decoction of the flowers is gargled to relieve oral and throat inflammation. Leaves, seeds, roots and bark have displayed hypotensive, antispasmodic and anthelmintic activity in bioassay.

Constituents: The chief constituent of the bark (about 22 per cent) is called punicotannic acid. It also contains gallic acid, mannite, and four alkaloids, Pelletierine, Methyl-Pelletierine, Pseudo-Pelletierine, and IsoPelletierine.

The liquid pelletierine boils at 125 degrees C., and is soluble in water, alcohol, ether and chloroform.

The drug probably deteriorates with age.

The rind contains tannic acid, sugar and gum.

Pelletierine Tannate is a mixture of the tannates of the alkaloids obtained from the bark of the root and stem, and represents the taenicidal properties.
Medicinal Uses:
The seeds are demulcent. The fruit is a mild astringent and refrigerant in some fevers, and especially in biliousness, and the bark is used to remove tapeworm.

In India the rind is used in diarrhoea and chronic dysentery, often combined with opium.

It is used as an injection in leucorrhoea, as a gargle in sore throat in its early stages, and in powder for intermittent fevers. The flowers have similar properties.

As a taenicide a decoction of the bark may be made by boiling down to a pint 2 OZ. of bark that has been macerated in spirits of water for twenty-four hours, and given in wineglassful doses. It often causes nausea and vomiting, and possibly purging. It should be preceded by strict dieting and followed by an enema or castor oil if required.It may be necessary to repeat the dose for several days.

A hypodermic injection of the alkaloids may produce vertigo, muscular weakness and sometimes double vision.

The root-bark was recommended as a vermifuge by Celsus, Dioscorides and Pliny. It may be used fresh or dried.

Other Uses ; :
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Ink; TanninWood.

A red dye is obtained from the flowers and also from the rind of unripened fruits. The dye can be red or black and it is also used as an ink. It is coppery-brown in colour . No mordant is required. A fast yellow dye is obtained from the dried rind. The dried peel of the fruit contains about 26% tannin. The bark can also be used as a source of tannin. The root bark contains about 22% tannin, a jet-black ink can be made from it. Plants are grown as hedges in Mediterranean climates. Wood – very hard, compact, close grained, durable, yellow. Used for making agricultural implements. A possible substitute for box, Buxus spp.

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Hedge, Massing, Superior hedge.

Known Hazards: Take recommended doses. Overdose symptoms include: gastric irritation, vomiting, dizziness, chills, vision disorders, collapse and death.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider