General Practice 2022

Chromium picolinate: what é, what it is for and how to take it

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Chromium picolinate: what é, what it is for and how to take it
Chromium picolinate: what é, what it is for and how to take it

Chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement composed of picolinic acid and chromium, being indicated mainly for people with diabetes or insulin resistance, as it helps to regulate blood glucose and insulin levels.

This supplement can be purchased in capsule form, at the pharmacy, he alth food stores or online stores, and must be used under the recommendation of a nutritionist or doctor, who will indicate how this supplement should be consumed.

What is it for

Chromium picolinate is indicated in case of chromium deficiency in the body. However, some studies have shown that this supplement could also have several other he alth benefits, and can be used to:

  • Help regulate blood sugar, as it increases sensitivity to insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood glucose, and therefore could have benefits for people who have diabetes and insulin resistance;
  • Favorite weight loss, as it can also interfere with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. However, the results on this benefit are still not conclusive, as they indicate that the weight loss was not significant;
  • Maintaining heart he alth, as it has been shown in some studies that chromium picolinate helps regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing the risk of formation of atheromatous plaques and, consequently, the risk of developing heart disease, especially in diabetic people. Despite this, this mechanism is still not entirely clear;
  • Exercise antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, especially in people with hyperinsulinemia or diabetes;
  • Reduce hunger and promote weight loss, as a study has shown that chromium picolinate supplementation could help reduce binge eating, as it may be involved in serotonin synthesis and the improvement of insulin activity.

Due to the fact that chromium picolinate is related to serotonin synthesis, it can also interfere with dopamine and, therefore, some studies indicate that this supplement may have antidepressant and anxiolytic action.

However, it is important to mention that more studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of this nutritional supplement in all the aspects mentioned above.

How to take it

The use of chromium picolinate should be done according to the doctor's or nutritionist's recommendation, but it usually consists of the ingestion of 1 capsule per day before one of the main meals, and the duration of the treatment must be indicated by the professional he alth.

Some scientific studies indicate that the duration of treatment depends on the purpose of using the supplement, and can vary between 4 weeks and 6 months. The dose used is also variable, ranging from 25 to 1000 mcg/day.

However, it is recommended that the daily dose of chromium be between 50 and 300 mcg, but in the case of athletes, people who are overweight or obese, or when the supplement is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, it may be recommended to increase the dose to 100 to 700 mcg per day for about 6 weeks.

Possible side effects

Side effects that may occur during treatment are headache, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, liver problems and anemia. However, this supplement is mostly well tolerated, with side effects occurring infrequently.

It is important that people with diabetes speak to their doctor before using this supplement, as it may be necessary to adjust the dose of the hypoglycemic agent, and in these cases, it is also necessary to control blood glucose levels during the period use of the supplement, in order to avoid hypoglycemia crises.


Chromium picolinate is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to the components of the formula, people with renal insufficiency or with any serious disease, children under 12 years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding women, unless it is recommended by the doctor.

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