Chromium picolinate is a supplement that is used with patients deficient in chromium. It has some health benefits and some side effects too.

Your body requires several essential minerals for it to function properly. One of these is chromium, which helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. The good thing is, the amount needed by your body is usually small; hence, it is very rare for you to be deficient in it. However, there are times when you might need to take a supplement, chromium picolinate. If you are wondering what this is all about and its benefits to your body, the potential side effects, and much more, keep on reading.

What is Chromium Picolinate?

This is a supplement that people consume to complement their chromium intake. Therefore, this is a supplement form of chromium, the nutrient required by your body. It is also an alternative therapy if you are deficient in the nutrient or want to lower your cholesterol levels, lose some weight or keep your blood sugar levels in check. In most cases, you will buy it as a herbal supplement.  Notably, as much as it is ideal for chromium deficient patients, experiencing the condition is rare since your body requires a very small amount.

Additionally, it is not good to use this supplement since its usage is regulated, and not all of its uses are approved by the FDA. Therefore, you can consider having medical care rather than purchasing the supplement. What’s more, different manufacturers make this supplement differently due to a lack of set standards. This, therefore, means you should have a reliable source.

Moreover, once you embark on taking chromium picolinate, you want to ensure it is effective. Therefore, you can ensure the diet you are on has no high amounts of sugar. Also, it would be best if you took it as mentioned on the label. Alternatively, if your doctor prescribed it for you, use his prescription without under-dosing or overdosing on it.

Who Should Avoid Chromium Picolinate?

Certain medical conditions need you to avoid this supplement if you are a patient. Such include;

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Allergic reactions to leather products
  • Mental illness
  • Thyroid problems

Therefore, if you have any of these conditions, it is best to first talk to your doctor to know if it is okay or not to take chromium picolinate. Other individuals who should be careful and seek advice before taking the supplement are pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

The Benefits of Chromium Picolinate

If you consume chromium picolinate, you might experience the following benefits;

Might Improve Your Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, your body does not respond t insulin properly, unlike normal healthy persons. Therefore, the hormone is not signaled to transport blood sugar to your body cells. According to certain studies, if diabetic individuals consume chromium picolinate, the supplement may help improve their blood sugar.

Additionally, there is a study that was conducted on diabetic people, and it produced promising results. The people under study were able to lower their blood sugar, thanks to the consumption of chromium picolinate. Also, they managed to improve how their bodies responded to insulin.

However, studies conducted on type 2 diabetes patients did not show many positive results.  Their blood sugar did not improve despite consuming the supplement. Therefore, these benefits are not evident in all cases.

Might Help You Reduce Hunger

Are you struggling with weight loss? Perhaps one of the major setbacks you experience has to deal with how you can manage your hunger and keep your cravings under control. This is even worse if you want to maintain your weight after shedding off some.

Therefore, to help you cope, you might resort to certain foods or supplements, one of which is chromium picolinate. From several studies conducted, this supplement can help you reduce the amount of food you consume. It also can help you reduce the feelings of hunger and constant cravings, things that can make your weight loss journey futile. Therefore, if you seek a solution to your undying appetite and cravings, why not try chromium picolinate?

May Help in Weight Loss

As you now know, chromium picolinate affects your cravings and can help you reduce the amount of food you eat. According to research conducted on obese and overweight individuals on a weight-loss mission, the supplement produced positive results, but to a very small extent. Also, it is still unclear how this is possible; hence, there are many questions left unanswered.

Moreover, studies conducted on healthy individuals showed no effect of this supplement on the adults’ body mass. This is despite the combination of the supplement with exercises. Therefore, more study isnecessary to show a clear connection between the supplement and weight loss. Currently, though, it is evident it is not very effective.

The Side Effects

The following are some of the side effects you might experience when you consume chromium picolinate;

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen lips, tongue, face, or throat
  • Lack of balance and coordination
  • Nausea
  • Itchiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Change in moods
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping

Importantly, some cases are adverse and might require you to get instant help. Moreover, others might experience other side effects apart from the ones mentioned here. It is, therefore, important for you to consult your health care provider before taking chromium picolinate. Also, in case of side effects, don’t hesitate to inform your medical doctor.

Medical advice is also important if you are a pregnant woman considering consuming this supplement. The same applies to a nursing mother too. You wouldn’t want chromium picolinate to harm your baby or you, so talk to your doctor first.


Numerous safety concerns are surrounding the intake of chromium picolinate. Other than interacting with some medicines, it has side effects. Therefore, you must always consult your doctor before you consume the supplement. Also, certain individuals are not advised to use it, such as pregnant women and nursing mothers, individuals suffering from kidney problems, allergic to leather products, or mentally ill. So, as much as there are benefits you can get from obtaining chromium in this, always consult your healthcare provider before taking it as a dietary supplement.

Charlotte Cremers

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.