Dangers of Chromium Picolinate

Before taking the supplement, it's a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about potential chromium picolinate dangers. For example, taking chromium picolinate without your healthcare provider's supervision may be dangerous if you have diabetes, liver disease, or any kind of mental illness. Warnings and precautions also extend to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and to people with certain allergies.

 

Is Chromium Picolinate Dangerous?

Chromium picolinate is a mineral that is often used in supplements for weight loss (see Weight Loss Pills) and various other purposes. Taking chromium picolinate without your healthcare provider's supervision may be dangerous if you have:
 
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any kind of mental illness
  • A chromate or leather allergy
  • Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Dangers of Chromium Picolinate

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of chromium picolinate include the following:
 
  • Chromium picolinate can affect the level of sugar in the blood. If you have diabetes, check with your healthcare provider before taking chromium picolinate. You may need to monitor your blood sugar more often, and your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.
     
  • Chromium picolinate can affect certain brain chemicals. If you have a mental illness, check with your healthcare provider before taking chromium picolinate.
     
  • Chromium picolinate may cause or worsen kidney or liver problems.
     
  • Chromium picolinate supplements have been reported to cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to chromate or leather.
     
  • There is some evidence that chromium picolinate (but not other forms of chromium) can cause free-radical damage to cells. It is not yet known if this can cause serious problems.
     
  • Chromium picolinate supplements can interact with other supplements or medications (see Chromium Picolinate Drug Interactions for more information).
     
  • It is not known if high doses of chromium picolinate are safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (see Chromium Picolinate and Pregnancy and Chromium Picolinate and Breastfeeding).
     
  • If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states. 
Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your chromium picolinate is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
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