Chromium Picolinate

imageThe complete chemical name or the IUPAC name of Chromium picolinate is: chromium(3+); pyridine-2-carboxylate. It is also called Chromium tripicolinate, Chromium tris(picolinato)-, Chromium(III) trispicolinate, Picolinic acid, chromium salt, Chromium 2-pyridinecarboxylate, 2-Pyridinecarboxylic acid, chromium salt, CID151932, LS-2230, Chromium, tris(2-pyridinecarboxylato-N(1),O(2))-, CHROMIUM PICOLINATE and so on.

Chromium picolinate is dark red in color and is now being used as a nutritional supplement. It is compound ofimagethe element chromium and picolinic acid. The element chromium occurs in nature as a mineral. Traces of chromium are also naturally found in foods like meat, poultry, fish, and whole-grain bread. The chromium content of the food is destroyed when it is processed. Scientists have proved through animal studies that lack of adequate chromium levels affect the insulin dependent systems (Schroeder, 1968). FDA recommendations are to take about 130 mcg of chromium per day, as chromium is also needed for the proper transport of blood glucose across cell membranes. Picolinic acid is combined with chromium to enable the faster and more efficient absorption of chromium in the body.

However, the advertisements for chromium picolinate attribute other benefits also to this supplement, such as: weight loss, mood enhancement, energy promotion, increase in life span, and even the prevention of acne (Krzanowski, 1996). Out of these, chromium picolinate is widely in use is its supposed utility in losing weight. Producers of this drug claim that chromium picolinate helps in weight loss because of it can melt fat, decrease appetite radically, and escalates the metabolic rate. Trent and Thieding-Cancel (1995) also point out the recent popularity upsurge in the use of chromium picolinate as a safer alternative to steroids for enhancing the strength of the muscles and the lean muscle mass. Many OTC herbal formulations also contain chromium picolinate. However, scientific researches (Grant et al, 1997; Trent & Thieding-Cancel, 1995; Lukaski et al, 1996; Walker et al, 1998) have not been able to prove these claims beyond doubt and the consumers must be careful when buying and consuming chromium picolinate for weight loss purposes.

Moreover, some adverse reactions or side effects of chromium picolinate have been reported, such as irregular heartbeat, problems in the mental and motor abilities (Krzanowski, 1996). For these reasons, experts advise that it is better to avoid taking chromium picolinate unnecessarily as the same benefits can be got from regular exercise.

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