Chromium Picolinate for Weight Loss

Scientists continue to study how chromium picolinate works in the body.
Scientists continue to study how chromium picolinate works in the body. (Image: "Free Tape Measure Woman Waistline Healthy Living Stock Photo Creative Commons" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Pink Sherbet Photography (D. Sharon Pruitt) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Chromium picolinate is a controversial, yet popular, chromium supplement often sold to promote weight loss. Research in 2008 revealed that chromium picolinate, working directly with your brain, may regulate your food intake, causing weight loss.


Chromium occurs naturally in many foods and enhances insulin, which eases the metabolization and storage carbohydrates, fats, and protein in your body, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Chromium is combined with picolinic acid to produce chromium picolinate, which helps the chromium absorb more efficiently.


Only trace amounts of chromium appear in food with broccoli, red wine and grape juice containing the most. According to the National Institute of Health, "more research is needed to determine the full range of its roles in the body."

Expert Insight

In a 2008 study conducted by Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, chromium picolinate was shown to reduce weight. Fourty-two overweight females with carbohydrate cravings "reduced food intake, hunger levels and fat cravings and tended to decrease body weight," according to the National Institutes of Health publication PubMed. How it works isn't yet known.


There isn't enough research to establish a Recommended Dietary Allowance for chromium picolinate. In 1989, the National Academy of Sciences established a safe range of 50 to 200 mcg per day.


The National Institute of Health suggests you talk to your doctor before taking chromium if you're taking other medications.

In particular, consult with your doctor before you take chromium picolinate if you have diabetes or hypoglycemia.

(See Reference 2 and Reference 3)

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