Chromium supplement benefits and dosages

What you need to know about the benefits of a chromium supplement, and whether there are any side effects.

Relatively little is known about chromium as a dietary supplement. The research is still recent, but we’ve made great progress in the last couple of decades. In this article, we’ll look at what we know about the chromium supplement benefits and dosage, and whether there are any side effects.

What is chromium picolinate?

Chromium picolinate is the most commonly used chromium compound in supplements. Other compounds, like chromium chloride, do exist but have a lower absorption rate. Since 2001, chromium has been a designated essential trace mineral, but as humans can’t generate it in the body, we need to get it from outside sources, like our diet.

When researching chromium, it’s important to draw a distinction between the two main types. Trivalent chromium is the form that appears in food and supplements, whereas hexavalent chromium is completely different—a byproduct from industrial processes, and not something you’ll find in any supplement on the market.

Which foods contain chromium?

While only ever appearing in small quantities, a lot of foods contain some level of chromium. The precise quantities are hard to standardise, as they are affected by variable levels of chromium in the soil (or in animal products, in the livestock’s diet). However, foods generally considered good sources of chromium include:

  • Meat

  • Fruit juices

  • Whole grains

  • Green vegetables

Chromium supplement benefits

The benefits of chromium supplement is that it's an easy way to ensure you're getting enough of this essential nutrient, filling any gaps in your diet. The nutrient reference value (NRV), or chromium picolinate dosage, is 40mcg per day.

What does chromium do for the body?

The study into the benefits of chromium is still fairly young, so there is a lot of ongoing research. While there is still debate over the exact effects of chromium, there are signs that it might help with:

  • Improving energy utilisation from food

  • DNA synthesis

  • Suppressing binge-eating impulses

Does chromium help weight loss?

Chromium has been reported to increase lean body mass and decrease percentage body fat, which may aid weight loss. For tips on how to build healthy habits and maintain a healthy weight, check out this article.

Is chromium safe to take everyday?

There aren’t any known side effects to high chromium intakes from food or supplements and so it's safe to take everyday.

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Sophie Medlin

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