What is Chromium for?
Chromium is a metal. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health.
Chromium is used for improving blood sugar control in people with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and high blood sugar due to taking steroids.
It is also used for depression, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), lowering “bad” cholesterol, and raising “good” cholesterol in people taking heart medications called beta blockers.
Some people try chromium for body conditioning including weight loss, increasing muscle, and decreasing body fat. Chromium is also used to improve athletic performance and to increase energy.
Chromium was discovered in France in the late 1790s, but it took until the 1960s before it was recognized as being an important trace element.
What is Chromium Possibly Effective for?
• Obesity and weight loss. Taking chromium picolinate by mouth for 2 to 3 months might produce a small weight loss of about 1.1 kg. But not all studies have found this benefit.
• Depression. Chromium might improve the mood of people with mild depression who are not responding fully to certain prescription medications for depression.
• Preventing a heart attack. Low chromium levels in toenails seem to be linked with a higher risk of having a heart attack. Researchers reasoned that giving chromium supplements might lower that risk. But so far, there is no reliable research showing that chromium supplements can prevent a heart attack.
• Turner’s syndrome (an inherited disease that often leads to diabetes). Research so far suggests chromium supplements might improve sugar and fat metabolism problems in people with Turner’s syndrome.
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
• Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).