Setting the Record Straight on Chromium Supplements

Setting the Record Straight on Chromium Supplements | Mr Vitamins
Recent reports linking chromium supplementation to greater cancer risk likely have you concerned and perhaps even confused. But as always, it is important to have all the facts straight before reaching a conclusion. So, Mr Vitamins is here for you to address all your questions about Chromium.

What is Chromium?

Chromium is an essential trace mineral your body needs for absorbing nutrients from food and maintaining blood sugar levels. Thus, should an individual ever become deficient in chromium, chromium supplementation would be necessary. Likewise, those suffering from a metabolic disorder like insulin resistance or diabetes, can greatly benefit from taking a chromium supplement. Of course, as with any supplement, you should consult a medical professional to confirm that taking chromium is right for you.

All forms of Chromium are not the same

In nature, more than one form of chromium exists. Chromium supplements typically contain trivalent chromium (III) picolinate or another chromium (III) form. However, the form of chromium now believed to cause cancer is an oxidised form called hexavalent chromium (VI). The study that initially questioned chromium’s health benefits raises some concerns itself. For instance, the study:
  • Monitored the effects of chromium on mice fat cells as opposed to its effects in an entire living organism
  • Obtained results that conflict with other studies’ results in which it was determined that high concentrations of chromium (III) could cause DNA damage, but not necessarily cancer
  • Failed to mention that chromium (III) has not been shown to act as a toxin within cells within living organisms and has been ruled safe when taken orally

The decision is yours to make…

Again, chromium offers a number of clinically proven therapeutic benefits. Plus, you should know that in Australia the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) restricts chromium supplementation in listed medicines to chromium (III) forms only. So when it comes to chromium supplementation or any other aspect of your health, do not allow the media to make your decision for you. Instead, ‘Ask a Naturopath’to discuss your health status with you and determine if chromium supplementation can help you.