Chromium supplements side effects

Chromium Supplement: Health Benefits & Risks

Written by R. Morgan Griffin

In this Article

  • Why do people take chromium?
  • How much chromium should you take?
  • Can you get chromium naturally from foods?
  • What are the risks of taking chromium?

Chromium -- specifically, trivalent chromium -- is an essential trace element that's used by some people as a supplement. Perhaps most importantly, chromium forms a compound in the body that seems to enhance the effects of insulin and lower glucose levels. However, it also had risks and its use is somewhat controversial.

Why do people take chromium?

Some studies have shown that chromium supplements may be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (prediabetes). There’s good evidence that chromium can lower glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, although not all studies have shown a benefit. It may be that chromium works better if someone is chromium deficient, which is usually only seen if a person has poor overall nutrition. Other studies have also found that chromium may help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is linked to insulin resistance.

Chromium supplements have also been studied for their effects on cholesterol, heart disease risk, psychological disorders, Parkinson's disease, and other conditions. However, the study results have been contradictory or unclear.

Some people use chromium supplements to build muscle or trigger weight loss. Some chromium studies have shown these benefits, but others have not.

How much chromium should you take?

Experts don't know how much chromium people need. So there is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for chromium. Instead, experts came up with a minimum amount of chromium that people should get.

Adequate Intakes (AI) of Chromium

Women, aged 19-5025 mcg/day
Women, aged 51 and older20 mcg/day
Men, aged 19-5035 mcg/day
Men, aged 51 and over30 mcg/day

Many people get more chromium than that. However, no one knows exactly how much more is safe. Some researchers suggest that 1,000 micrograms a day should be considered the upper limit. Excessive doses of chromium may actually worsen insulin sensitivity.

The doses used in clinical studies vary. For example, for diabetes, people have taken 200-1,000 micrograms daily, split two to three times a day.

Can you get chromium naturally from foods?

Most people get enough chromium from food. Foods that are good sources of chromium include:

  • Vegetables such as broccoli, potatoes, and green beans
  • Whole-grain products
  • Beef and poultry
  • Fruits, including apples and bananas; grape juice
  • Milk and dairy products

What are the risks of taking chromium?

  • Side effects. Chromium seems to have few side effects. There have been some reports of chromium causing occasional irregular heartbeats, sleep disturbances, headaches, mood changes, and allergic reactions. Chromium may increase the risk of kidney or liver damage. If you have kidney or liver disease, do not take chromium without talking to your doctor first.
  • Interactions. Since chromium may affect blood sugar levels, it is crucial that anyone taking diabetes medications, like insulin, only use chromium under the care of a medical doctor. Chromium may also interact with drugs like antacids, acid reflux drugs, corticosteroids, beta-blockers, insulin, thyroid medicine and NSAID painkillers. These interactions may cause the chromium to be poorly absorbed or amplify the effect of the other medicine.
  • Risks.Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take chromium supplements. For children, consult a doctor. Some experts recommend that no one should take more than 200 mcg/day without medical advice. The Institute of Medicine has not set a tolerable upper intake level (UL) because few serious side effects have been seen with high chromium intake.

Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews


Chromium is an essential trace mineral. There are two forms: trivalent chromium, which is safe for humans, and hexavalent chromium, which is a toxin.

Trivalent chromium is found in foods and supplements. It might help keep blood sugar levels normal by improving the way the body uses insulin.

People use chromium for chromium deficiency. It is also used for diabetes, high cholesterol, athletic performance, bipolar disorder, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

This topic only covers trivalent chromium, not hexavalent chromium.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Likely Effective for

  • Chromium deficiency. Taking chromium by mouth is effective for preventing chromium deficiency.

Possibly Effective for

  • Diabetes. Taking chromium by mouth might improve blood sugar control in some people with type 2 diabetes. Higher chromium doses seem to work better than lower doses. It's not clear if it helps prevent diabetes.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Prediabetes. Taking chromium by mouth doesn't help control blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes.
  • Schizophrenia. Taking chromium by mouth doesn't affect weight or mental health in people with schizophrenia.

There is interest in using chromium for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Chromium is likely safe when used short-term. Up to 1000 mcg of chromium daily has been used safely for up to 6 months. When taken for longer periods of time, chromium is possibly safe. Chromium has been used safely in doses of 200-1000 mcg daily for up to 2 years.

Some people experience side effects such as stomach upset, headaches, insomnia, and mood changes. High doses have been linked to more serious side effects including liver or kidney damage.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Chromium is likely safe when used short-term. Up to 1000 mcg of chromium daily has been used safely for up to 6 months. When taken for longer periods of time, chromium is possibly safe. Chromium has been used safely in doses of 200-1000 mcg daily for up to 2 years.

Some people experience side effects such as stomach upset, headaches, insomnia, and mood changes. High doses have been linked to more serious side effects including liver or kidney damage. Pregnancy: Chromium is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts that do not exceed adequate intake (AI) levels. The AI for those 14-18 years old is 28 mcg daily. For those 19-50 years old, it is 30 mcg daily. Chromium is possibly safe to use in amounts higher than the AI levels while pregnant. But don't take chromium supplements during pregnancy unless advised to do so by a healthcare provider.

Breast-feeding: Chromium is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts that do not exceed AI levels. The AI for those 14-18 years old is 44 mcg daily. For those 19-50 years old, it is 45 mcg daily. There isn't enough reliable information to know if taking higher amounts of chromium is safe when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick with amounts below the AI.

Children: Chromium is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts that don't exceed AI levels. For those 0-6 months old, it is 0.2 mcg; for those 7-12 months old, it is 5.5 mcg; for those 1-3 years old, it is 11 mcg; for those 4-8 years old, it is 15 mcg. For males 9-13 years old, it is 25 mcg; for males 14-18 years old, it is 35 mcg. For females 9-13 years old, it is 21 mcg; for females 14-18 years old, it is 24 mcg. Taking chromium in amounts above the AI level is possibly safe for most children.

Behavioral or psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia: Chromium might affect brain chemistry and might make behavioral or psychiatric conditions worse.

Chromate/leather contact allergy: Chromium supplements can cause allergic reactions in people with chromate or leather contact allergy. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and scaling of the skin.

Kidney disease: Chromium supplements might cause kidney damage. Don't take chromium supplements if you have kidney disease.

Liver disease: Chromium supplements might cause liver damage. Don't take chromium supplements if you have liver disease.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Chromium might increase how well insulin works. Taking chromium along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.

  • Taking chromium with levothyroxine might decrease how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. This might make levothyroxine less effective. To help avoid this interaction, levothyroxine should be taken 30 minutes before or 3-4 hours after taking chromium.

  • Chromium might lower blood sugar levels. Taking chromium along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • NSAIDs might increase chromium levels in the body and increase the risk of adverse effects. Avoid taking chromium supplements and NSAIDs at the same time.

  • Aspirin might increase how much chromium the body absorbs. Taking aspirin with chromium might increase the effects and side effects of chromium.


Chromium is an essential trace mineral. It's recommended that males 19-50 years old consume 35 mcg daily, and those 51 years and older consume 30 mcg daily. For females, it's recommended that those 19-50 years old consume 25 mcg daily, and those 51 years and older consume 20 mcg daily. Recommended amounts for children depend on age. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.

Why chromium supplements should not be used uncontrollably by patients with diabetes?

It is known that chromium is a trace element that takes part in protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Although its deficiency in the human body is rare, sometimes this condition can cause insulin resistance and metabolic disorders.

According to some studies, the daily intake of chromium for people over the age of 9 years is 21-25 mcg for women and 25-35 mcg for men. It is worth noting that chromium picolinate is a popular dietary supplement used by bodybuilders and athletes to build muscle and/or lose weight. A recent study showed that women who took chromium supplements experienced an increase in muscle mass.

Scientists also claim that dietary supplements with chromium help normalize blood sugar levels and reduce body weight by participating in carbohydrate metabolism. Thus, according to several previous studies, people taking chromium, there was a decrease in body weight by an average of 0.5 kg compared with participants from the control group using placebo.

Chromium can enter the human body not only from food supplements, but also with food. Nutritionists say that nutrients that come in a complex, in particular together with food, are better absorbed. Also, studies show that taking certain nutrients in the form of dietary supplements may not provide the same health benefits that are obtained when they are absorbed in foods.

According to nutritionists, broccoli is one of the best sources of chromium. Liver, potatoes, some types of cereals, seafood and meat are also rich in this element. Scientists note that most dairy products contain a small amount of it. So, in 1 serving of broccoli - 22 mcg of chromium, mashed potatoes - 2. 7 mcg, whole wheat muffin - 4 mcg, green beans - 1.1 mcg.

Scientists have not recorded a single case of toxic effects of chromium as a result of ingestion. However, experts draw attention to the fact that with excessive use of food supplements with this element, symptoms such as watery stools, dizziness, headaches and rashes may occur. Thus, high doses of chromium can cause skin itching, hypoglycemia, and disruption of the kidneys, liver, and nervous system.

Scientists state that chromium picolinate reduces the absorption of thyroid medications and should be taken at least 3-4 hours before taking them. In any case, experts recommend that you always consult with your doctor before starting to use dietary supplements with chromium.

Scientists plan to further study the effect of chromium supplements on metabolism in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Large randomized controlled clinical trials are planned today.

Based on http://www.

features of the supplement. Useful properties of chromium picolinate. Side effects of chromium picolinate

April 23, 2019


High chromium supplements use predominantly chromium picolinate, which is a form of this mineral. According to experts, this element improves metabolism and speeds up the process of losing excess weight.

Today, many people are interested in this substance and the safety of its use. Therefore, in this article we will consider what chromium picolinate is, its effect on the human body and the safety of use.

Chromium is a mineral that occurs in several forms. Despite the fact that one form of this mineral can pollute the environment and adversely affect human health, another form can significantly improve the condition of the body. A useful form of this element is trivalent chromium, which can be found in most natural products.

Although many experts question the need for this mineral, studies show that it is necessary for a number of vital bodily functions. So, chromium is an integral part of the chromodulin molecule, which allows insulin to process fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

It is important to note that the level of absorption of chromium in the intestines is only 2.5 percent of the total amount of the mineral that enters the body with food.

Chromium picolinate is a more active form of this mineral with a higher absorption rate, which is due to the addition of trivalent chromium to three molecules of picolinic acid. That is why this form is used in all dietary chromium supplements.

Normalizes blood sugar levels

In the body of a healthy person, insulin performs a very important function - the transfer of information about the intake of sugar into the blood and cells of the body. People with diabetes have a significantly worse reaction to sugar, which is why the level of this substance in their blood and cells is much higher.

Recent studies have shown that chromium supplementation can help normalize blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. So, during one of the experiments, it was found that adding 200 mg of chromium per day to the diet can not only normalize blood sugar levels, but also improve the body's response to insulin signals. Also during this study, it was found that individuals with higher blood sugar and low insulin levels respond significantly better to the addition of chromium to the diet.

A large study of over 62,000 people found that supplementing with this mineral can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 27 percent.

However, despite all the above promising results, one of the experiments showed that chromium supplements are not able to improve the condition of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Another study in obese individuals without diabetes showed that daily intake of 1000 mg of chromium picolinate per day did not improve the body's response to insulin. Also, scientists have found that supplements of this mineral are not able to affect healthy people.

Therefore, chromium picolinate picolinate can effectively regulate blood sugar levels only in people suffering from diabetes.

Reduces appetite and hunger

In most cases, attempts to lose weight through diet are accompanied by hunger and food cravings. That is why people who use a diet for weight loss are actively interested in supplements that reduce appetite and hunger.

One such additive is chromium picolinate. So, during an 8-week study, in which participants consumed one gram of this mineral per day, a significant decrease in the amount of food consumed and a weaker feeling of hunger were found. According to scientists, this effect is due to the influence of chromium on the human brain.

Another experiment in individuals with depression, which causes behavioral disturbances, hunger and increased food cravings, demonstrated that the daily intake of this mineral for 8 weeks in a volume of 600 mcg in essence can suppress food cravings much more effective than placebo.

Based on this, scientists concluded that the use of chromium picolinate in the amount of 600 to 1000 mg per day can reduce food cravings, eliminate hunger and reduce the frequency of overeating in depressive disorder.

Allows you to get rid of excess weight

Due to the fact that chromium is used by the human body in the process of metabolism and affects the feeling of hunger, scientists began to study the effect of this element on weight loss. During the analysis of 9 studies in this area, in which overweight people took part, scientists were able to fully evaluate the effect of the mineral on weight loss.

Experiments in this area have used volumes not exceeding 1000 mg per day. This dosage reduced the weight of obese participants by 1.1 kg after 12-16 weeks. This result, according to scientists, is very doubtful, which calls into question the effectiveness of this supplement in weight loss.

While reviewing the results of 11 other studies, scientists noticed that regular use of chromium reduced the weight of obese people by only 0.5 kilograms after 8 weeks.

A number of other experiments involving completely healthy people, where chromium supplements were combined with exercise, demonstrated that this element is not able to have a significant effect on changes in fat and muscle mass.

Buy chromium picolinate in Kyiv with delivery in Ukraine

Main Sources of Chromium

Although Chromium Picolinate is predominantly found in dietary supplements, this mineral can also be found in a number of natural foods. At the same time, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the chromium content in products directly depends on agricultural and production processes. That is why there is no systematic database that would indicate the specific amount of a given mineral in a particular product.

Special attention should be paid to the fact that most products containing this element have a relatively small amount of chromium - from 1 to 2 micrograms. At the same time, the recommended daily intake of this mineral is 35 mcg for men and 25 mcg for women. For persons over the age of 50 years, the amount of chromium consumed should be reduced by 5 micrograms.

Despite the fact that the content of chromium in food is relatively small, deficiency of this mineral in humans is extremely rare.

To eliminate the possibility of a deficiency of this substance and increase its amount in the body, it is recommended to consume vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

The richest source of chromium is broccoli, which contains approximately 11 micrograms per half cup. The second product with a high content of chromium is apples, containing up to 6 micrograms of the mineral in one fruit.

Scientists have found that a balanced diet containing a range of different foods can fully satisfy the human body's need for chromium.

How to take chromium

Due to the fact that chromium is used by the human body for a number of vital processes, many people wonder if it is necessary to supplement this element in the diet.

To determine this, consider the main features of chromium picolinate supplements.

Chromium picolinate does not have a maximum allowable dose

A number of studies have examined the effects of chromium on blood sugar levels. However, when conducting such experiments, they also set the maximum allowable dose of a substance that is absolutely harmless to the human body.

Due to the limited amount of information provided after the completion of experiments to the National Academy of Medicine, the maximum amount of this mineral that does not cause side effects has not been established.

What you need to know about the side effects of chromium picolinate

Despite the fact that scientists have not established the maximum allowable amount of chromium intake, many scientists became interested in the safety of this substance and conducted a number of studies. During the experiments, it was found that when this mineral is processed in the body, harmful molecules called hydroxyl radicals are formed. These molecules can have a negative effect on DNA and cause a number of other problems.

Scientists have also found that, despite the prevalence and activity of chromium picolinate, it is this form of the mineral that can cause side effects. So, in one of the studies, it was found that a woman who took from 1200 to 2400 mcg of this supplement per day to reduce weight noticed pain in the kidneys and disruption of this organ after a while.

What to Consider When Buying Chromium Picolinate

In addition to the above, chromium may interact with certain medications such as NSAIDs and beta-blockers.

Therefore, before buying the appropriate supplement, you should always consult your doctor about its compatibility with the drugs used, as well as the possible individual effect on the body.


Chromium picolinate is the most active form of the chromium mineral and is most commonly found in dietary supplements. Its use can improve the body's response to insulin, lower blood sugar levels and significantly reduce hunger and food cravings. But, despite this, this supplement does not allow you to get rid of excess weight.

An acute lack of chromium in the body is extremely rare, but the use of supplements in such a case is recommended to be agreed with the attending physician, since improper use of this mineral can have a negative effect on the body.

Research Links

1. Chromium: What is it?

2. Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a "low-chromium" diet.

3. The Biochemistry of Chromium




Hello! I am currently taking an antidepressant. Can I start a chromium course with it?


Hello, I am 12 weeks pregnant, the endocrinologist prescribed chromium picolinate 200, I have TSH. 16 downgraded .you can drink it or not thank you very much.


Good afternoon, please tell me you can take chromium 500 and amoxil (I caught a cold and the doctor prescribed it)


Good afternoon.
Can I take chromium picolinate
for hypothyroidism, I take L-thyroxine 100.


Hello, I've been taking chromium picolinate for 2 days and it's okay if I ate a little sweet? But the cravings have decreased and it is also written on the package to take chromium during meals, and you write half an hour before meals, so how is it necessary in the end?


Good afternoon!
Can chromium picolinate and zinc be combined?


Hello. Please tell me whether it is possible to take Chromium Picolinate (drops) and L-Carnitine solution 20% at the same time, or is it better to buy in a tablet (Carnitine + chromium forte tablets 30 pcs). As I understand it better solution, I could be wrong. Thank you for your answer!


Hello, could you please tell me if Chromium Picalinate and Acrylic Orlistat can be taken together?


In type 2 diabetes, how much chromium can be taken and how many times a day


Good afternoon! How to combine vitamin C, D, magnesium, chromium, omega3? What time ? Thank you in advance


Vegetable diet and chromium picolinate, is it possible?


The doctor prescribed chromium picolinate 500, and I have a dosage of 200. How to take 400 or 600? And can it be combined with maximag? Magnesium


Good afternoon! Tell me, please, 6 years ago I had an operation (cervical cancer stage 1), now everything is fine. Can I take Chromium?


Hello! I am 62 with type 2 diabetes. Sugar is high, before meals there are 11-18 units. In what dose can Chromium picolinate be taken and at the same time with nicotinic acid is it acceptable to take? Thank you! All the best!


Does this drug affect the menstrual cycle? The delay is a week, the test is negative


Good evening.
Please tell me how to take chromium picolinate, chelated zinc, lecithin 1200, magnesium 500.


Hello. 1. The endocrinologist prescribed to my mother to drink chromium picolinate 400 mg during the year, since sugar was slightly increased according to the tests (not diabetes).

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