Chromium picolinate is a chemical compound, which is fast gaining popularity as a nutritional supplement. Here is a brief overview about the possible side effects of this supplement.
Chromium picolinate is a compound of chromium and picolinic acid. It is said to be helpful in preventing and treating chromium deficiency in humans. Today, chromium picolinate has been attributed with a wide range of health benefits, which include weight loss, muscle gain, stimulation of insulin activity in the body, reducing blood pressure, and fighting depression; but there is no scientific evidence to prove such claims. It is available in the form of herbal supplements, and is not a prescribed medication. Presently, chromium picolinate is used as an ingredient in many weight loss formulas.
As an antidepressant, chromium picolinate was found useful to some extent. Some researchers are of the opinion that the compound reduces carbohydrate craving, and thereby control appetite. Again, there is no scientific backing to prove its role in weight loss and building muscles. Numerous studies were conducted to find out the effect of chromium picolinate on diabetics. The results were contradictory, but the inference was that it may help in improving glucose metabolism in diabetics. However, there is no authentic support for this analogy.
Even though this supplement is considered safe, there are instances of mild to moderate and severe side effects. Chromium picolinate side effects include headaches, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, vomiting, and diarrhea. If any of the following symptoms appear, you should immediately contact your health care provider.
- Vomiting blood, or presence of blood in stools.
- Symptoms of kidney malfunctioning, like increase or decrease in the production of urine.
- Abdominal pain, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
- Skin allergy symptoms, like rashes, itching, and swelling.
- Trouble in breathing, wheezing.
- Failure to concentrate.
- Puffiness of the face, lips, mouth, and throat.
- Behavioral disorders.
Apart from these symptoms, many people have reported complications, like kidney failure, liver damage, and anemia; after taking supplements containing chromium picolinate for a stipulated period. Studies are still underway to determine the possible side effects of this supplement. It has been suggested that, chromium picolinate may cause damage to the neurotransmitters, which carry nerve impulses. It may also lead to a sharp decline in the blood glucose levels, if taken along with other medication. Chromium picolinate caused skeletal disorders in the fetus of pregnant mice, but safety of this compound in pregnant women is still not proved. According to some studies, this compound enters the cells of the body; and reacts with vitamin C to form a reduced form of chromium, which can cause genetic mutations and may also lead to cancer.
As of now, there is no authentic backing to prove the health benefits or the side effects of chromium picolinate. The safest way is to seek the opinion of your health care provider before using it.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.