What is Chromium Picolinate?

what is chromium picolinate

What is chromium picolinate?

Chromium is an underrated mineral.  It flies under the radar unbeknownst to many of us as a mineral that is essential to our diet.  While a true chromium deficiency is rare, up to 90% of Americans are not consuming enough chromium in their daily diet.  Given the role that chromium plays in modulating insulin and cholesterol, individuals with low chromium levels can experience increased blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol.  The chronic elevation of these markers can lead to the development of multiple metabolic conditions, diabetes, and heart disease. Populations who are most likely to be included in that 90% with low chromium intake are the elderly, the very active, individuals who consume a high sugar diet, and women who are pregnant.

What Does Chromium Picolinate Do?

chromium picolinate reduces blood sugar after meals

The benefits involve improved postprandial (after eating) glycemic control, fasting glucose, and insulin sensitivity. Supplementing with chromium picolinate enhances insulin sensitivity in order to more effectively transport energy into the cells. This influence on insulin may significantly impact the one in five Americans that have metabolic syndrome.  For these individuals, improved insulin sensitivity and glucose control can reduce the likelihood of disease and improve overall health. 

Additionally, Chromium Picolinate has been found to support healthy blood sugar levels. By improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, it helps maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. This can prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar, which can lead to energy fluctuations and cravings for sugary or high-calorie foods.

Another benefit of chromium picolinate involves its potential to stabilize energy levels and reduce cravings. By promoting glucose uptake by cells and improving insulin sensitivity, it can provide a steady source of fuel for the body, reducing feelings of fatigue and stabilizing energy levels. This can also help reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks, as stable blood sugar levels can reduce the urge to reach for sugary or high-calorie foods for a quick energy boost.

Overall, chromium picolinate plays a vital role in supporting metabolic health by improving insulin sensitivity, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, and increasing energy levels while reducing cravings. These benefits make it a valuable supplement for those looking to enhance their metabolic function and support their overall wellbeing.

What Type of Chromium Reduces Blood Sugar?

Since chromium cannot be naturally produced by the body, we must consume it throughout our diet.  There are currently at least six different forms of chromium commercially available.  Please keep in mind that the dietary forms (trivalent chromium) should not be confused with the toxic by-product of stainless steel (hexavalent chromium).  Chromium picolinate is a specific form of dietary (trivalent) chromium that has been shown to be the most effective and safe.  

How Much Chromium Picolinate is Needed to Reduce Blood Sugar?

GOOD IDEA reduces postprandial blood sugar

The combination of chromium picolinate and the five amino acids included in GOOD IDEA (L-Leucine, L-Threonine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine) have a synergistic effect that not only reduces total blood sugar (25% average reduction in post-prandial blood glucose), but also helps to improve energy levels, reduce cravings, and improve metabolic health.

Supporting Weight Management Goals

Supporting weight management goals is another important benefit of chromium picolinate. This mineral has been shown to have a positive impact on body composition, making it a valuable supplement for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that chromium picolinate supplementation significantly reduced body weight and body fat in overweight women. Another study published in Nutrition Research and Practice showed that chromium picolinate supplementation helped decrease body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference in individuals with obesity.

Chromium picolinate supports weight management by improving insulin sensitivity and promoting glucose uptake by cells. When insulin sensitivity is enhanced, glucose is more efficiently used for energy rather than stored as fat. Additionally, stable blood sugar levels provided by chromium picolinate can reduce cravings for sugary or high-calorie foods, making it easier to make healthier choices and manage calorie intake.

Incorporating chromium picolinate into your daily routine, along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, can support your weight management goals and overall metabolic health. As always, it's important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Other Benefits of Chromium Picolinate

Besides the metabolic health improvements, chromium picolinate has also been shown to impact mood. Chromium picolinate has also been shown to support the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to play a role in regulating our sense of satisfaction, happiness, and optimism. While scientists aren’t exactly sure how chromium picolinate increases serotonin, there are multiple research studies demonstrating the serotonin-boosting effects.

Safety and Efficacy of Chromium Picolinate

When it comes to any supplement or dietary aid, it is important to consider both the safety and effectiveness. Luckily, chromium picolinate has been extensively researched and has been shown to be both safe and effective for use as a metabolic health supplement.

Studies have found that doses of up to 1000 mcg of chromium picolinate per day are well tolerated by adults. However, it is always important to speak with your healthcare provider before adding any new supplement to your routine.

In terms of efficacy, numerous studies have shown that chromium picolinate can support healthy blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce cravings and increase energy levels. It can also support weight management goals, making it a powerful supplement for those looking to optimize their metabolic health.


Author: Dr. Colleen Gulick