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As the name suggests, chromium picolinate is a chemical compound that contains chromium, the mineral and picolinate, an amino acid derivative. It is used as an ingredient in certain nutritional supplements. Dietary use of this chemical compound is considered safe, as it exhibits almost no side effects, when taken in correct doses.

Benefits

Chromium Functions: Scarcity of mineral chromium in the diet can result in slow growth rate in children, infertility, damaged nerves (peripheral neuropathy), depression, fatigue, obesity, etc. Such deficiency leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) or onset of diabetic symptoms. Insulin works more efficiently when the body receives a sufficient amount of chromium. The mineral chromium helps enhance the functions of insulin. In the absence of chromium, insulin molecules cannot transport glucose to the cells where it is actually needed. If glucose is not transported to cells, it gets accumulated in bloodstream leading to diabetes.

Picolinate Functions: When you consume chromium through diet, it is metabolized into an ion, or a particle carrying an electrical charge. It becomes difficult for chromium to enter the body cells as the cells repel the charge. Picolinate binds with this ion readily, and neutralizes its charge. It enables the body to use chromium in an efficient manner. Thus the combination of chromium and picolinate plays an important role in absorption of chromium by body cells.

Type 1 Diabetes: There are various types of diabetes, like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes which women develop during pregnancy. Type 1 diabetes develops as a result of scarcity of insulin in the body, and can be treated with this supplement.

Prediabetes: Those who are likely to develop diabetes show symptoms of prediabetes. For example, often feeling hungry or thirsty, increased fatigue, increased infections, frequent urination, vision problems, slow healing of wounds, etc. These supplements work great for prediabetes as well.

Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is experienced as a result of insulin resistance. These supplements help reduce insulin resistance significantly. They not only help prevent type 2 diabetes, but also help reverse it.

Lower Intake of Insulin: After the use of these supplements, positive results regarding blood sugar, blood insulin, and blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) levels can be seen in type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. So, the patients can cut down their intake of insulin or other drugs. This considerably helps lower the side effects of the drugs.

Weight Loss: The supplements help prevent obesity as they help control blood lipid levels. They can also be used to enjoy the benefits of weight loss. Moreover, chromium helps reduce sweet cravings which in turn promotes weight loss.

Dosage

It is necessary to consult your physician if you want to opt for these supplements. Wrong dose of the supplement can prove to be life-threatening. The dosage may vary from person to person, depending upon the chromium intake through diet, severity of the symptoms, age, overall health, etc. 50 to 200 mcg of chromium picolinate per day is considered as safe, depending upon the situation.

Side Effects

To avoid side effects of the supplement, it is necessary to follow the instructions of your physician regarding the dosage. Excessive consumption of the supplement can lead to kidney dysfunction, headache, skin rashes, liver damage, loss of appetite, insomnia, difficulty in concentration, etc.

Symptoms like carbohydrate cravings, fatigue, acne, weight gain, and mood swings can be reduced with the help of these supplements. Whether you want to take the supplements for diabetes or for depression, you should strictly follow the instructions regarding the dosage.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.