Chromium is a mineral that has become a relatively popular sports supplement. Chromium picolinate is a supplement derived from chromium and picolinic acid. This form of chromium is said to be the most absorb-able by the human body.
Supplement companies market chromium picolinate as a substance that will help you build muscle and burn fat. The body does in fact need a small amount of chromium for glucose utilization, however chromium deficiency is extremely rare.
What is interesting to me about this supplement is the fact that it has become somewhat popular, even with a lack of clinical evidence demonstrating that it works in any of the areas for which it’s marketed. Of course, that shouldn’t be too big of a shock, as most supplement companies are out to make money as their primary goal.
Benefits of Chromium Picolinate
The benefits and effectiveness of chromium picolinate are an issue of much debate. There have been studies conducted that suggest that chromium picolinate may cause DNA damage, however, these findings are unclear. There have also been studies done that revealed no effect on healthy individuals taking chromium picolinate. In my opinion, the benefits of chromium picolinate are questionable at best.
What is Chromium Picolinate Used For?
Other than the uses for which chromium picolinate is marketed (fat loss and muscle gain), it may play a role in enhancing the insulin response by cells.
Chromium Picolinate Dosage
Many minerals including chromium are taken in very small doses known as micrograms. 1000 µg (micrograms) equals 1 mg. Daily recommended intake for chromium is around 20 to 30 µg. Most chromium picolinate supplements will supply you with anywhere between 200 – 1000 µg.
Chromium Picoliante Side Effects
There have been no reports of common side effects from the use of chromium picolinate. If you do experience any of the following more serious side effects while taking chromium picolinate, stop using it immediately and consult a doctor:
tightness in the chest
swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
Does Chromium Picolinate Work
The bottom line here is that, in my opinion, there’s not enough evidence to support the possible positive effects of this supplement and there are some studies that show possible unhealthy effects. Until more is known about this supplement, I would stay away from it. You’re better off spending your money on supplements that are clinically proven to work.