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Chromium Picolinate Review - 16 Things You Need to Know

Chromium picolinate is a product that aims to supplement chromium, an essential substance required by our body. Supposedly, chromium picolinate will help you balance blood sugar, lose weight, as well as lower bad cholesterol. But this ingredient is not a super supplement that works best all alone.

Our research team decided to take matters into their own hands, inspect the ingredients and verify their effects. They found out some great info and a ton of relevant research that all shows there are benefits to chromium picolinate, but is it the ingredient to top them all?

Chromium Picolinate Readers: Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial, for a limited time. Click here for this special offer!

Chromium Picolinate Video Review

Overview

What is Chromium Picolinate?

Chromium picolinate is a chemical compound that people use as a dietary supplement or in alternative therapies, according to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. It is trace mineral aiming to provide chromium, a chemical that the human body requires in minimal amounts.

In fact, chromium deficiency is a very rare phenomenon. Chromium naturally occurs in small amounts in common foods such potatoes, cheeses, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, and whole grains. You can also find chromium in peanut butter, bran cereal, seafood, prunes, and nuts.

Some people take chromium picolinate for health reasons such as the treatment of chromium deficiency, weight loss, and controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Chromium picolinate is primarily used as a nutritional supplement to boost the efficiency of insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.

Types of chromium

  • Trivalent: in foods and supplements, is safe for humans
  • Hexavalent: toxin, can cause skin problems

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Ingredients

Chromium Picolinate Ingredients

Chromium Picolinate ingredients

So, what comprises chromium picolinate? As we said above, chromium picolinate is a chemical compound. The supplement is made up of two main ingredients:

Chromium

Chromium is a metal element that is allegedly beneficial to our health because of its role in accelerating metabolism in collaboration with insulin, according to Metabolism

Picolinic Acid

Picolinic acid is a chemical ingredient that facilitates the fusion of chromium and insulin so they can accelerate metabolism, according to The Journal of Nutrition. It also helps in the absorption of amino acids in the body.

Chromium picolinate is sold in the market as a stand-alone supplement, or it may be used as an ingredient in the manufacture of other nutritional supplements, since it is a chemical compound.

Moreover, there is no single company that can claim that chromium picolinate is its property. Thus, different manufacturers under different brands make and sell this product.

Chromium Picolinate Uses

Chromium picolinate is marketed as a supplement with magical solutions to health concerns.

Manufacturers attach several uses to it with the aim of convincing buyers that it answers their most obscure health problems. The supplement is useful for moving glucose from the blood to body cells so that it can generate energy. In collaboration with insulin, chromium picolinate aids the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy that the body needs for its functions.

Chromium picolinate is also allegedly useful in burning fat, utilizing carbohydrates, and enhancing a lean body mass. People, therefore, use it as a weight loss supplement.

It can also supposedly prevent bone loss in women during menopause by slowing down the loss of calcium.

Likely Effective for:

Chromium deficiencies.

Possibly effective for:

  • High cholesterol
Benefits & Results

Chromium Picolinate Benefits and Results

Chromium Picolinate benefits

Whether a diet supplement works or not depends on each individual. Human bodies react to substances differently and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.

It therefore important for you to understand what works best for you. The benefits and side effects of chromium picolinate are no exception and they differ among users.

The manufacturers of chromium picolinate associate it with several health benefits as a nutritional supplement. It has links with lowering cholesterol levels.

In addition, there are claims it can positively impact weight loss. Some clinical evidence suggests that it can help with the management of cholesterol.

Reactions from chromium picolinate by consumers regarding the results are mixed, and it is difficult to tell whether it works or not. Some report that it helped them reduce sugar levels; others say it helped them curb cravings for carbohydrates.

Yet others recorded significant weight loss. However, others experienced side effects such as headaches and nausea, reports Sports Medicine.

Dosage

Chromium Picolinate Dosage

There is no established dosage for this supplement that is safe and tolerable. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine established that women need 25 mcg of chromium, while men need 35 mcg for daily living. The board asserted that this is the amount chromium that a healthy person needs on a daily basis. According to Colombia Health, taking doses of about 1000 mcg or more of chromium picolinate consistently on a daily basis could be harmful to your liver and kidneys.

If you intend to use chromium picolinate to prevent or treat chromium deficiency, the recommended dosage is 50-200 mcg. The recommended chromium picolinate dosage is 200 mcg. This dosage recommendation is for both teenagers and adults.

It is, however, important to note that the dosage recommendation increases with the age of an individual. Thus, you should always consult and follow the instructions of your doctor regarding the amount you should take.

Daily intake levels in detail

  • Men 14 to 50 years: 35 mcg
  • Men 51 and older: 30 mcg
  • Women 19 to 50 years: 25 mcg
  • Women 51 and older: 20 mcg
  • Pregnant women 14 to 18 years: 29 mcg
  • Pregnant women 19 to 50 years: 30 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women 14 to 18 years: 44 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women 19 to 50 years: 45 mcg

Overdose

In case you overdose chromium picolinate, seek the help of a poison control center.

Missed dose

Sometimes you may miss the prescribed dose of chromium picolinate because of forgetting or due to unavoidable circumstances. In such cases, you should take the dose as soon as you can, unless the time for next dose has almost arrived.

However, you should not take two doses at the same time to compensate for a missed dose.

When to take chromium picolinate depends on the reason, and you should seek advice from a doctor first.

What to Avoid While on Chromium Picolinate

Avoid a high-sugar diet and ask a doctor before using antacids, as some antacids could make it harder to absorb chromium picolinate.

Chromium Picolinate and Weight Loss

Chromium Picolinate Weight Loss

Weight loss is a common selling point that manufacturers of nutritional supplements make. It has become a pertinent issue and customers are most likely to buy a product because advertisements and package labels promise weight loss.

Some studies assert that the use chromium picolinate as a supplement along with an exercise program may help an individual to significantly lose weight.

Weight loss

A meta-analysis of eleven studies from 2013 (Journal of Obesity Reviews) revealed that the use of chromium picolinate for weight loss purposes helped individuals lose 1.1 pounds after using the supplement for eight to 24 weeks. However, this effect is minute and may not have a large impact on weight loss.

Cravings

Another study claimed that taking 600 mcg of chromium picolinate daily for eight weeks resulted in a significant reduction of cravings for carbohydrates.

This assertion could imply that chromium picolinate has some impact on weight loss by accelerating the consumption of calories while suppressing the appetite for starchy and sugary foods.

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, manufacturers of chromium picolinate tout it as a weight loss accelerant. This argument is based on the ability of chromium to increase the effectiveness of insulin. Since insulin’s purpose is to facilitate metabolism, anything that improves its effectiveness is a weight loss agent.

Other research indicates that its use has no impact on weight loss and that when you use it for this purpose the supplement may not be safe. In fact, some participants in weight loss programs that use chromium picolinate experience watery stools, headaches, and vertigo.

Directions

How to Use Chromium Picolinate

Manufacturers describe it as an effective dietary supplement with several health benefits. If you decide to use it as a nutritional supplement, it is always prudent to follow the directions on the package. More importantly, you should always seek the direction of a doctor or other licensed healthcare providers.

You should not use the supplement in any other way apart from the one prescribed. The reason for this is that its dietary requirements vary with age. Diabetics should also check their blood sugar levels to avoid further deterioration of their health.

Furthermore, you may not use this supplement alone. It has to be part of a treatment program that involves exercise, weight control and diet.

Product Warnings

Chromium Picolinate Product Warnings

Understanding product warnings of any dietary supplement before using it may help you avoid adverse side effects. Although this has useful health benefits, there are circumstances under which the product could be harmful.

Some chromium picolinate warnings include:

  • Do not use instead of a doctor’s medical prescription.
  • Avoid use if you are on steroids such as prednisone and beclomethasone.
  • Do not use if you suffer from a medical conditions
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult a doctor before using it, as the supplement could be harmful to the infant.
  • Inform your doctor that you use this product before you start conventional prescriptions. Interaction with other medicine could worsen health conditions.
  • There is no standardized way of manufacturing chromium picolinate. The way it works and its side effects may differ between brands.
  • When using it, avoid diets high in sugar. Excessive sugar might impede its effectiveness.
  • Its long-term effects are not clear.

Pregnant & Nursing Women

It’s unknown whether this ingredient could harm an unborn baby. This product may also pass into breast milk and harm a breastfeeding baby.

Acne

There are some reports that this ingredient may help with acne as it aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels, but there is still no evidence for this.

Side Effects

Chromium Picolinate Side Effects

Chromium Picolinate side effects

Not knowing details about the safety of nutritional supplements could lead to adverse side effects.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the way it does conventional medicines. Consequently, most dietary supplements are on the market without clinical reports to guarantee their safety.

Chromium picolinate has some side effects, just like any other nutritional supplement on the market. As mentioned earlier, the body needs chromium in very small amounts. Thus, excessive consumption of the chromium picolinate may cause adverse side effects.

Some of the common side effects of chromium picolinate are:

  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Dermatitis
  • Upset stomach

There are other, more serious side effects that this supplement may cause. Discontinue use and seek the help of a doctor in case you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Symptoms of liver dysfunction
  • Nausea
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Appetite loss
  • Tiredness
  • Body balance or coordination problems
  • Thinking or concentration problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
Interactions

Chromium Interactions

Moderate

Insulin and chromium may both decrease blood sugar, so you need to monitor your levels if taking both.

Chromium may lower the amount of levothyroxine (synthroid) that the body absorbs, making it less effective. Take levothyroxine 30 minutes before or three to four hours after taking chromium to avoid this.

Minor

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might increase chromium heighten the risk of side effects. Avoid taking chromium and NSAIDs simultaneously.

NSAIDs include “ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), [and] aspirin.”

Other drugs that may interact with this ingredient include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Talk to a medical professional before combining any of them with chromium picolinate.

Where to Buy

The Science Behind Chromium Picolinate

Chromium Picolinate science

When reviewing a nutritional supplement, we always consider the clinical research behind the claims that manufacturers and marketers attach to the supplement. Some research suggests that chromium picolinate may help control blood sugar levels.

However, a review done by the United States Food and Drug Administration concluded that the “relationship between chromium picolinate intake and insulin resistance is highly uncertain”.

There are, in addition, concerns about the alarming side effects that are associated with it.

If your goal is to live a fulfilling and healthy life that is supported by nutritional supplements, we recommended you look at those backed by scientifically-proven evidence. In this way, you will be able to avoid the adverse side effects brought by several diet supplements that are currently available in the market.

Chromium Picolinate Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Works with insulin to produce energy, boosting the metabolism and helping to regulate weight
  • Potential to act as an appetite suppressant.
  • Cheap.

Cons

  • Cases of breakdown of muscles, but only in large doses.
  • No strong evidence about its weight loss effects.
  • Many people won’t need chromium supplementation.
Pros & Cons

Where to Buy Chromium Picolinate

You can buy various supplements containing chromium picolinate through:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • iHerb
  • Vitamin Shoppe

What Users Are Saying

“Helpful for helping your body metabolize surgar. – They say Chromium helps to metabolize sugar making it a great supplement for diabetics. This is true. Take it in the morning but not in the evening because the energy boost, though hardly noticeable will keep you up at night. I discovered this by trial and error.”

“They might work for other people; didn’t notice a change for me, but perhaps still work trying for other people.”

“Didn’t do anything to me !! At all ! I don’t even know why I spend money on that!”

What Users Are Saying

The Bottom Line on Chromium Picolinate

Okay, here are our final thoughts on chromium picolinate. We like that some clinical research backs this natural ingredient. Also, we appreciate that it may help promote overall health and wellness. But, we’re concerned about users complaining about side effects.

If your main goal is to transform your life, we suggest going with a program backed by solid science and supported by favorable customer comments.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. The program is the most unique combination of real life interaction through human coaching, one-on-one support, custom meal plans and more. We love that people are sharing their experiences seeing great results.

The makers of Noom are so confident in their product, that they’re offering a 14-day trial, which is very encouraging.

Learn More About Noom »
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Chromium Picolinate

Q:
What does chromium picolinate do for your body?
A:

Chromium is known as an essential trace mineral which means only minuscule amounts are necessary to support human health. This mineral works in conjunction with insulin in the body to help metabolize carbohydrates. It is made by combining chromium with picolinic acid, which helps the body better absorb the chromium itself.

Q:
What does chromium do to your body?
A:

Chromium plays an integral role in the regulation of blood sugar in the body. It assists insulin in transporting blood sugar into the cells to be used for energy. Research has also shown that chromium may play a role in the metabolism of dietary macronutrients.

Q:
How much chromium is safe to take daily?
A:

The tolerable upper limit of chromium is 1,000 micrograms per day. Doses between 200-1,000 micrograms have been used in research relating to blood sugar regulation.

Q:
How does chromium work in the body?
A:

Chromium works in the body by assisting insulin with the transportation of glucose into cells to be used as energy. It helps the body better metabolize dietary carbohydrate, effectively lowering blood sugar.

Q:
Is chromium bad for you?
A:

When taken in the recommended dosage or via chromium-rich foods, it is not dangerous to health. When consumed in excess of the tolerable upper limit, chromium can result in stomach problems and lead to hypoglycemia. Excess chromium over an extended period of time can also damage the liver and kidneys and may lead to irregular heart rhythm.

Q:
Is chromium good for diabetics?
A:

Chromium has been shown to have positive effects on blood sugar regulation for diabetics. It is also used for those who may have high blood sugar from other lifestyle practices.

Q:
What is GTF chromium used for?
A:

GTF stands for Glucose Tolerance Factor and is the naturally-occurring form of chromium. It is different from chromium because it is more readily absorbed by the body. It is commonly used in sports supplements and weight loss aids.

Q:
What is a chromium deficiency?
A:

A chromium deficiency is a condition acquired from insufficient intake of dietary chromium. A deficiency is rare, however, as the recommended daily intake is very small. Patients who have been fed intravenously for long periods of time have occasionally exhibited symptoms of chromium deficiency, however.

Q:
What is the function of chromium in the body?
A:

Chromium assists with the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat, playing an essential role in cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis. It also assists with dietary carbohydrate metabolism, working synergistically with insulin to transport glucose into cells to be used as energy.

Q:
What foods are high in chromium?
A:

Foods high in chromium include the following: eggs, meat products, fish, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and potatoes.

Q:
What are the side effects of chromium picolinate?
A:

Side effects of chromium supplementation can include the following: balance and coordination problems, trouble concentrating, liver problems, loss of appetite, and jaundice. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using chromium immediately and call your doctor.

Q:
What is the use of chromium?
A:

Chromium is used in the production of steel, making it harder, and is also essential to the production of stainless steel. It is used to produce several alloys of the metal and gives it a polished, reflective finish.

16 Chromium Picolinate Reviews

  • Am I okay taking 400mcg of Chromium Picolinate Plus 400mcg?
    Sharon Stevens (Verified Purchase)

    I am taking Chromium Picolinate Plus 400mcg for about six months, 100 tablets in the bottle, I still have about 25 tablets, am I ok with taking this amoumt.

    Reply
  • Is acne a side effect?
    barbara

    Has anyone had a problem with acne since you have been taking chromium picolinate ?

    Reply
  • Can I use this while on medication?
    Bev

    I take thyroid medicine & have satisfactory kidney function. My question is; is Chromium Picolinate then safe for me to take? I take small amounts of it & don’t think its enough. I like to workout but lately have had trouble with my knees so as a result have slowed down & wondered what dosage I should take if I continue? Does it go by a certain amount per body weight & if your male or female does this matter?
    Thanks, Bev

    Reply
  • Product effectivity
    Janet

    Dr. Oz said on his TV show that this vitamin could be used to control sugar.
    Is this true?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      why it cost sooooo much!

      Reply
  • High blood sugar
    Carol

    Your sugar should be around 110. 145 is high. You should definitely speak to your family doctor about that. High blood sugar can cause other health problems.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      use cinniman too with it helps reduce blood sugars

      Reply
  • Will chelated chromium 500ug/day help?
    Bernard Yong

    I suffer from impaired glucose tolerance. Will chelated chromium 500ug/day help? Thank you.

    Reply
  • What kind of meat is in Chromium polynicotinate?
    Rukhsana

    What kind of meat is in Chromium polynicotinate?

    Reply
    • Dave

      Ham

      Reply
  • for a diabetic what is a safe dose that can be taken daily
    sara Rodriguez

    for a diabetic what is a safe dose that can be taken daily

    Reply
  • Is it ok to take a diet supplement that has Chromium polynicotinate 75mcg, Garcinia Cambogia 400mg, Gymnema Sylvestre 100mg when taking Levothyroxine 75mcg for Thyroid.
    Ana Hernandez

    Is it ok to take a diet supplement that has Chromium polynicotinate 75mcg, Garcinia Cambogia 400mg, Gymnema Sylvestre 100mg when taking Levothyroxine 75mcg for Thyroid.

    Reply
  • I take 70/30 Humliun insulin 2x aday can I take chromium
    Paula Drayton

    I take 70/30 Humliun insulin 2x aday can I take chromium

    Reply
  • had some problems with constipation
    colette (Verified Purchase)

    Years ago I was taking chromium picolinate one pill daily 200 mcg. Recently I started taking them again 1000 mcg and had some problems with constipation could this be the problem. The only other supplement would be a protien drink once daily. plelease help!

    Reply
    • Catherine

      re: what may causing your constipation ~ i don’t know about the chromium p, but when i was drinking protein shakes regularly, i experienced constipation as well…

      Reply
  • how many pills I should take a day or should I just take it twice or three times a week.
    venessa smith

    can diebetic use chromium picolinate. And how many pills I should take a day or should I just take it twice or three times a week.

    Reply