The investigations show that chromium picolinate resulted in very small amounts of weight loss (about 1.1 kg) after the treatment duration. The besâ¦ The demand for chromium pills -- often sold in the form of chromium picolinate -- is based on a simple and common premise: The mineral supposedly helps build muscle and burn fat. Chromium (in the form chromium picolinate or CrPic) has been associated with a reduction in the risk for obesity, less weight gain and may positively affect food intake. But there's preliminary evidence that chromium picolinate causes severe damage to chromosomes in hamsters' ovary cells. "Those doses are so high, she had to use acetone to get the chromium picolinate to go into solution, so you're using a toxic agent and mixing it with a huge dose of chromium picolinate and exposing it directly to ovary cells. As a weight loss supplement chromium picolinate may be effective, yet there are some potential drawbacks including a cancer risk. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990324062736.htm (accessed December 27, 2020). ANAHEIM, Calif., March 23 --New evidence has been reported that a popular nutritional and dietary supplement, called chromium picolinate, may be a cancer risk. ScienceDaily, 24 March 1999. Animal tissue studies like Stearns' "cannot be used to conclude that something causes cancer, " says Komorowski. "Chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," says James Komorowski, MS, director of research and development at Nutrition 21 in Purchase, N.Y. â¦ Nutrition 21 has conducted "numerous clinical studies involving over 3,000 subjects -- in studies between three months and one year in duration -- and there have been absolutely no side effects," Komorowski tells WebMD. Participants taking chromium supplements lost significantly more weight, 0.75 kg, than those taking placebo and also had a significant 0.40 kg/m 2 reduction in BMI and body fat percentage, 0.68%, in comparison with placebo. The health claims for chromium are based on its status as an essential human nutrient required for normal carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Chromium picolinate, on the other hand, is more readily taken in during digestive processes. "We want to make sure that consumers do not misinterpret this data," he tells WebMD. These medicines are called oral medicines. Such events are known, in some cases, to cause genetic mutations and cancer in humans, the researchers noted. Within two weeks, the patient showed distinct improvement in signs and symptoms, blood sugar levels improved and insulin requirements were greatly reduced. Chromium is a trace mineral found in two main forms, trivalent chromium (III) and hexavalent chromium (VI). However, the jury is still out on how effective this supplement is when used for these purposes. You may require medicines together with healthy eating and exercise practices to handle your type 2 diabetes. The committee also noted two case reports of kidney failure that might have been caused by this supplement and called for further research into its safety. All rights reserved. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. One form, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. The earliest study that showed the effect of chromium supplementation in decreasing symptoms of diabetes was done in the 1970s, when a patient was given supplemental chromium. It often is an ingredient in products ranging from sports drinks and gum to pills. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In theory, this might mean chromium picolinate might cause cancer. New Treatments That May Change the Game, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. "There are studies that can be used to determine if a substance is toxic or not, and Nutrition 21 has done those studies, and chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," he tells WebMD. Until now, though, there was no solid explanation for just how chromium picolinate caused the damage. Chromium Picolinate Linked To Cancer. A pilot scale study was done on 622 women who were obese. I have started taking chromium picolinate to help normalize my blood sugar, and it has been helping to keep it in the normal range, if I watch my diet. I had breast cancer five years ago with a resulting mastectomy. American Chemical Society. Indeed, when Vincent added "physiologically relevant concentrations" of chromium picolinate to laboratory solutions of DNA, much of the DNA was broken, he said. The element is needed only in trace amounts, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that more than 90% of American diets contain less than the minimum recommended daily allowance of chromium and dietary sources are extremely poorly absorbed by the body. It is used to prevent chromium deficiency, which may develop as a result of poor diet, stress and aging. 18.104.22.168 Chromium Picolinate. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments, Closer to a Cancer Cure? "Our first study showed chromosome damage, and our second study has taken it one step further by showing that this damage leads to mutations," she says in a news release. This research has been peer-reviewed and will soon appear in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. Most trials used chromium picolinate, and others used chromium-enriched yeast or chromium nicotinate. We are looking at the potential, at a chemical level, if it is possible that [chromium picolinate] is a mutagen, and the answer is yes." Now we find out that the body turns chromium-3 into chromium-6. Chromium picolinate is claimed to reduce body fat and build muscle. A recent USDA study fed rats a diet rich in the compound for 24 weeks and did not see any ill effects. Chromium is believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats.1ï»¿ It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. Supplemental doses of these agents may need to be adjusted, reduced, or omitted in patients with renal dysfunction. Chronic inhalation of chromium-6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer and â¦ Possible Link Between Chromium Picolinate and Cancer The results of a study conducted by the University of Alabama in 1999 point to a link between Chromium Picolinate and cancer. When combined with picolinic acid, it is referred to as chromium picolinate and is sold as a nutritional supplement. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. American Chemical Society. ", The doses are indeed "over 50,000 times higher than the level of chromium a human would have in their blood," counters Komorowski. It also has been suggested that the supplement reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and the symptoms of diabetes. My doctor has not put me on medication for my diabetes at this time. In a 1995 paper she demonstrated that chromium picolinate can get into cells, at least in a lab dish. "We are currently determining the actual type of DNA damage that causes the mutations in order to better understand the relevance of our results to humans who are taking these supplements.". ", "I would definitely be concerned about taking this nutritional supplement based on what we've found," concludes Vincent. I learned to do my research and not just rely on doctors alone. "Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk." It is not known what actually happens in humans, or even animals when chromium picolinate is consumed. It is thought that chromium picolinate can help increase muscle mass. ScienceDaily. You can take numerous diabetes medications by mouth. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Nutrition 21 is the leading developer and marketer of chromium-based nutritional supplements. The Alabama scientists believe it does this job by making the insulin receptor work better. Chromium picolinate is an organic compound of trivalent chromium and picolinic acid, a naturally occurring derivative of tryptophan. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. A safety paper published by the USDA comments on animal cell studies like Stearns,' citing "that one cannot extrapolate from a hamster tissue culture what could happen in humans," says Komorowski. American Chemical Society. What oral medicines treat type 2 diabetes? We conclude that the occurence of preputial gland adenomas in one group of male rats was possibly associated with exposure to chromium picolinate. Chromium is marketed as a protection against Type 2 diabetes and as a so-called "sugar balance" pill to help weight loss. These and many other studies implicated chromium as a critical cofactor in insulin actioâ¦ Selenium is partially excreted in the urine. The picolinic form increases Cr absorption from the GI tract, although this remains quite low, around 3%. Still, chromium's role in these processes is not well understood. (1999, March 24). Materials provided by American Chemical Society. What oral medications deal with type 2 diabetes? It turns out that chromium side effects also include cancer â itâs very carcinogenic. "However the doses were within international guidelines for genotoxicity testing," she says. Hexavalent chromium compounds have been used as corrosion inhibitors in a wide variety of products and processes. ScienceDaily. But Australian researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales found that when chromium picolinate enters cells in the body, it is partially converted into a cancer-causing chemical. ANAHEIM, Calif., March 23 --New evidence has been reported that a popular nutritional and dietary supplement, called chromium picolinate, may be a cancer risk. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. Found in vitamins and mineral supplements, Chromium may be necessary for utilization of dietary sugars and carbohydrates by optimizing the effects of insulin. These obese individuals were given about 1000 Î¼g/day of chromium picolinate for 12 â 16 weeks. A new study found that chromium is partially converted into a carcinogenic form when it enters cells (File photo) The mineral is primarily found in two forms. Animal studies suggest that chromium picolinate may be carcinogenic, it enters cells directly and can causes mutations. Chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement derived by combining chromium and picolinic acid. "Mutations in certain genes may lead to cancer. This creates an incredible cancer potential. There are two forms of chromium: trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. These medications are called oral medications. Renger F. 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The USDA toxicity studies also used extremely high doses chromium "but found absolutely no damage and concluded that chromium picolinate was safe," he says. Personally, I donât feel chromium picolinate causes cancer. We conclude that chromium picolinate did not cause cancer in female rats "Simple chromium compounds don't do this," says Vincent. Chromium Picolinate Cancer. However, there may be potential risks in the higher dosages of chromium (see Safety Issues). Benefits and Dangers of Chromium Picolinate for Weight Loss There are two schools of thought when it comes to the benefits of chromium picolinate for losing weight. Chromium is an essential mineral your body needs in small amounts. Chromium picolinate has been used in alternative medicine to treat chromium deficiency, as an aid to controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes or prediabetes, to lower cholesterol, and as a weight-loss supplement. Given that in vitro studies suggest that other forms of chromium used as nutritional supplements, such as chromium chloride, are unlikely to be susceptible to generating this type of oxidative damage, the use of these compounds, rather than Cr(pic)(3), would appear warranted. Chromium picolinate and weight loss. (NCI04) "They have to have ligands -- something that binds to chromium -- that make the properties just right and picolinate is one of those ligands.". "Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk." Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. Dec. 11, 2001 -- A popular nutritional supplement, chromium picolinate, has been touted as a fix for weight loss and muscle growth, a potion to help you lose body fat. Nutrition 21's studies have focused on weight loss, cholesterol, and diabetes. The dosage of chromium used in studies ranges from 200 mcg to 1,000 mcg daily, mostly in the form of chromium picolinate. "Careful investigation into the effects of long-term diet supplementation with chromium picolinate are needed to evaluate its mutagenic and carcinogenic potentials. Stearns continued, explaining that demonstrating a compound is mutagenic is not the same thing as showing it can cause cancer--that can only be demonstrated through animal or human studies. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. "Chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," says James Komorowski, MS, director of research and development at Nutrition 21 in Purchase, N.Y. Trivalent chromium is available as supplements while the latter is carcinogenic. Studies show chromium supplementation can improve mood, reduce cravings, improve insulin sensitivity, regulate blood glucose levels, and improve binge eating and depression symptoms. Other novel chromium compounds also have improved bioavailability (40) (41) . Glucose tolerance factor chromium, more commonly called chromium GTF, is a mineral that is frequently used in bodybuilding, athletic and weight-loss supplements. A few studies have even suggested that very high chromium levels can cause DNA damage and may cause cancer. Chromium is also a hugely popular dietary supplement -- and not because the nation has developed a sudden mania for well-controlled blood sugar. ", The current findings are "more indicative" of this cancer-causing potential, Stearns says. Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk. Her work further showed that, once inside those laboratory cells, it appeared to induce cleavage of chromosomal DNA. The hamster cell study, published in the journal Mutation Research, builds on studies dating to 1995, according to lead author Diane Stearns, assistant professor of biochemistry at Northern Arizona University. "They say her studies are 'extremely questionable.'". "Also, it is known that chromium can accumulate in the body; therefore, we caution against taking excessive doses of chromium picolinate for long periods of time. "You can't take that and say humans should be concerned.". A new study builds on earlier findings that hamster cells grown in a laboratory -- when exposed to chromium picolinate -- develop mutations in the cells' DNA. Chromium picolinate works together with insulin produced by the pancreas to metabolize carbohydrates. But one chromium manufacturer says it has conducted extensive human tests. It plays a role in how your body breaks down fats and carbohydrates. And the issue is created with very little effort. The trace metals, chromium and zinc, are excreted primarily in the urine. When Chromium Picolinate is taken as a dietary supplement with Vitamin C supplements, it caused genetic damage to laboratory hamsters. The Alabama studies advance the work of the late Dartmouth University chemist Karen Wetterhahn, Ph.D., who died from a widely publicized mercury-poisoning accident. But Vincent asks, "what happens in six months, or a year, or longer? Learn about chromium, exposure to which can increase your risk of lung cancer and cancer of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Itâs been long known that chromium-6 is highly toxic. A study led by the universities of Sydney and NSW has shown that living cells convert chromium III, a naturally occurring element used as a weight loss and type-2 diabetes treatment, into its âcarcinogenic cousinâ â hexavalent chromium, the industrial pollutant made notorious by the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich and a 2011 chemical spill near Newcastle. Stearns admits that the doses used in her study were higher than one would get from a few pills. gland was greater in male rats receiving 10,000 ppm chromium picolinate than in the control group. This article examines the evidence to determine the benefits of chromium picolinate. Chromium is poorly absorbed following oral administration, but salt forms such as chromium picolinate, niacin-bound chromium, and chromium chloride, appear to have better bioavailability. Chromium picolinate is a supplemental form of chromium said to improve nutrient metabolism and promote weight loss. "If it's stable enough that it gets into the cells intact," says Vincent, "then it could be a big concern.". This was due to concerns raised by the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals that chromium(III) picolinate might be genotoxic (cause cancer).
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