Chromium

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Chromium Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings



  • Recent cell culture and in vivo rat studies have indicated that chromium picolinate probably generates oxidative damage of DNA and lipids and is mutagenic, although the significance of these results on humans taking the supplement for prolonged periods of time is unknown.
    - Sports Med 2003;33(3):213-30 -- The potential value and toxicity of chromium picolinate as a nutritional supplement, weight loss agent and muscle development agent. -- Vincent J.

  • There is evidence of hormonal effects of supplemental chromium besides the effect on insulin. Chromium supplementation does result in tissue retention, especially in the kidney.
    - Altern Med Rev 2002 Jun;7(3):218-35 -- The safety and efficacy of high-dose chromium. -- Lamson DS, Plaza SM.

  • Studies suggest that the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral actions of chromium picolinate may be a consequence of the effects of picolinic acid on the central nervous system. Analogues of picolinic acid have been shown to induce profound alterations in the metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and norepnephrine in brain. Thus, caution should be used with chromium picolinate supplements especially by individuals prone to behavioral disorders.
    - J Fla Med Assoc 1996 Jan;83(1):29-31 -- Chromium picolinate. -- Reading SA.

  • Possible adverse cutaneous reactions to chromium picolinate.
    - J Am Acad Dermatol 1999 Nov;41(5 Pt 2):820-3 -- Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis induced by chromium picolinate. -- Young PC, Turiansky GW, Bonner MW, Benson PM.

  • There is evidence of hormonal effects of supplemental chromium besides the effect on insulin. Chromium supplementation does result in tissue retention, especially in the kidney, although no pathogenic effect has been demonstrated despite considerable study.
    - Altern Med Rev 2002 Jun;7(3):218-35 -- The safety and efficacy of high-dose chromium. -- Lamson DS, Plaza SM.

  • The models predict that chromium can accumulate in human tissues to reach the levels at which DNA damage has been observed in animals and in vitro. The use of chromium supplements for extended periods or in excess dosages should be reevaluated in terms of these established models because the possible long-term biological effects of chromium accumulation in humans are poorly understood.
    - FASEB J 1995 Dec;9(15):1650-7 -- A prediction of chromium(III) accumulation in humans from chromium dietary supplements. -- Stearns DM, Belbruno JJ, Wetterhahn KE.

  • Chromate has been known to cause systemic contact dermatitis when ingested in some people.
    - Cutis 2000 Feb;65(2):116 -- Systemic contact dermatitis caused by oral chromium picolinate. Fowler JF Jr.

  • Chromium can have an effect on blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
    - Cutis 2000 Feb;65(2):116 -- Systemic contact dermatitis caused by oral chromium picolinate. Fowler JF Jr.

  • Observations suggest that chromium may potentiate antidepressant pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder.
    - J Clin Psychiatry 1999 Apr;60(4):237-40 -- Chromium potentiation of antidepressant pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder in 5 patients. -- McLeod MN, Gaynes BN, Golden RN.

  • Rhabdomyolysis results from skeletal muscle injury and release of muscle cell contents into plasma. A body builder developed the disease after ingesting 1200 microg of chromium picolinate (6-24 times the daily recommended allowance of 50-200 microg) over 48 hours. Believed to be the first reported case of chromium-induced rhabdomyolysis.
    - Pharmacotherapy 1998 Jul-Aug;18(4):860-2 -- Suspected chromium picolinate-induced rhabdomyolysis. -- Martin WR, Fuller RE.

  • Chromium supplements may cause serious renal impairment when ingested in excess.
    - Ann Pharmacother 1998 Apr;32(4):428-31 -- Chromium picolinate toxicity. -- Cerulli J, Grabe DW, Gauthier I, Malone M, McGoldrick MD.

  • High levels of chromium picolinate supplementation are contraindicated for weight loss in young, obese women.
    - Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997 Aug;29(8):992-8 -- Chromium and exercise training: effect on obese women. -- Grant KE, Chandler RM, Castle AL, Ivy JL.




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  • last update: February 2014



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