Generic Name: Chromium Picolinate (CrP)
Brand Names: GTF Chromium, Chromium Synergy
Available Dosage forms: Oral tablets, capsules, powder, injection
What is Chromium?
Chromium is a trace mineral that is involved in the metabolism of glucose, cholesterol, and insulin. Tyrosine Kinase is an insulin receptor that gets activated by the action of Chromium.1
In addition to glucose metabolism, Chromium is linked to reducing the symptoms of atypical depression. Fluctuations in the monoamine (serotonin, dopamine) transmission system leads to depression and other mood-related mental disorders. A feature distinctive to depression in terms of metabolism is insulin resistance. Serotonergic activity in the brain is affected by changes in peripheral insulin.
Chromium Picolinate (CrP) is implicated in the treatment of depression as it increases the number of insulin receptors. This causes peripheral insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity upregulates the concentration of serotonin in the brain. CrP also downregulates the levels of stress hormone (corticosterone) in the plasma. Both of these mechanisms bring about an improvement in depression.2
How to use Chromium?
Mineral deficiencies can be avoided with a good diet. Foods rich in Chromium are vegetables (potato, broccoli), fruits, whole-grain condiments, beef, poultry, and dairy products.
People with documented Chromium deficiency should always consult their physician before consuming any supplements. These supplements are available in the form of tablets and capsules that are swallowed with water. People who do not want tablets or capsules can buy the powder form. Take the prescribed dosage of powder and mix it with a liquid. Since Chromium affects sleep cycles, it is better to take the supplements in the morning.
What are the side effects of Chromium?
The usual symptoms of discomfort after Chromium supplementation include:
– Stomach ache
– Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)
– Allergic reactions
Possible adverse effects to a high dose of Chromium intake include:
– Liver damage
– Impaired kidney function
– Cardiac Arrhythmias
Who should not use Chromium?
All mineral supplements should be consumed with caution in the following conditions:
– Compromised kidney function
- Davidson JR, Abraham K, Connor KM, McLeod MN. Effectiveness of chromium in atypical depression: a placebo-controlled trial. Biol Psychiatry. 2003;53(3):261-264. doi:10.1016/s0006-3223(02)01500-7
- Dubey VK, Ansari F, Vohora D, Khanam R. Possible involvement of corticosterone and serotonin in antidepressant and antianxiety effects of chromium picolinate in chronic unpredictable mild stress induced depression and anxiety in rats. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015; 29:222-226. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2014.06.014