This article will discuss several possible benefits of chromium picolinate and help you decide whether or not it is worth trying. Chromium is a mineral that exists in several forms. Although one dangerous form can be found in industrial pollution, a safe form is found naturally in many foods 1. This safe form, trivalent chromium, is typically considered essential, meaning that it must be obtained from the diet. Although some researchers question whether this mineral is truly essential, it does serve several important functions in the body 2. For example, it is part of a molecule called chromodulin, which helps the hormone insulin perform its actions in the body 3, 4. Interestingly, the absorption of chromium in the intestines is very low, with less than 2. However, chromium picolinate is an alternate form of chromium that is absorbed better. For this reason, this type is commonly found in dietary supplements 3, 6. Chromium picolinate is the mineral chromium attached to three molecules of picolinic acid 3.
A meta-analysis included 21 trials that measured the impact of chromium supplementation on anthropometric indices in a total of 1, overweight or obese participants aged 18 or older [ 72 ]. It provides about 2 micrograms per glass, notes the NIH. Diabetes Technol Ther ;
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. There is limited information about the exact amount of chromium required, and what it does, as studies have so far produced conflicting results. Recent results suggest that chromium picolinate supplements may have benefits for some people, but experts recommend diet, rather than supplements, as the best source of chromium. The Adequate Intake AI of chromium for ages 9 years and above ranges from 21 to 25 micrograms mcg per day for females and 25 to 35 mcg per day for men. There is no accurate measure of chromium nutritional status, but chromium deficiency in humans is rare. Potatoes, whole grains, seafood, and meats also contain chromium. Exactly how chromium benefits the body remains unclear, and reports of deficiency in humans are rare. Potentially, a deficiency could relate to some health problems. However, there is little evidence to confirm either the benefits of chromium or what harms a deficiency might cause.
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A review of chromium and glycemic control included 8 meta-analyses and systematic reviews of a total of 58 clinical trials [ 16 ]. Wheat germ is a versatile ingredient that’s high in several nutrients, including chromium. The main reason chromium deficiency is so rare is that this nutrient is found in an abundance of fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat — and even in wine. A Harvard study of 1, American men supports the hypothesis that chromium may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The trial assigned adults aged 35—65 years with type 2 diabetes to receive mcg chromium as chromium picolinate, mcg chromium, or placebo twice daily for four months. However, due to limited available information, no UL has been set for chromium Based on current evidence, chromium picolinate is not effective at producing meaningful weight loss in overweight or obese individuals. Its role in treating diabetes in animals was described in the s, but its role in human health is still unclear. In comparison with placebo, chromium supplementation significantly increased acute insulin response to glucose but did not affect HbA1c levels, insulin sensitivity, or other measures of glucose metabolism.