Our bodies require trace minerals to function, including zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, and chromium. Chromium is a metal present in our soil, and most people get enough of it through diet alone. However, if you have diabetes or are trying to lose weight, a chromium supplement may help.
To learn more about the health benefits of chromium supplements and the different types available, read our buying guide. We’ve also included our top product picks at the end of this article, like Pure Encapsulations’ ChromeMate Chromium Supplements , which are highly absorbable by the body.
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement, especially if you suffer from any preexisting conditions.
Improves blood sugar: Studies suggest that supplementing with 200 mcg (micrograms) of chromium can improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. These studies also suggest that chromium can lower insulin levels.
Reduces hunger and food cravings: If you’re trying to lose weight, there is evidence that supplementing with 600 to 1,000 mcg of chromium a day may help reduce binge eating and food cravings. Chromium plays a role in a healthy metabolism — your body needs trace minerals like chromium for energy, especially if you’re active.
Prevents cognitive decline: For aging adults, supplementing with chromium may help cognitive function by improving insulin response. Since the brain is impacted by insulin, a chromium supplement may keep your brain function "youthful."
Other benefits: Chromium may help prevent bone loss by slowing calcium loss, and it’s used as an alternative remedy for osteoporosis. Because chromium regulates blood sugar levels, it’s also used by some alternative practitioners to treat acne, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and adrenal fatigue.
Trivalent chromium (chromium 3+) is the form of chromium found in food. It’s naturally present in wheat, brewer’s yeast, some meat, potatoes, and certain vegetables.
Chromium supplements come in capsule or tablet form in quantities of 60, 90, 120, 180, or 250. Consider how many pills you need to take a day when choosing a lower or higher count bottle.
Chromium supplements generally exceed the recommended daily amount. Expect to see capsules starting at 200 mcg and going up to 1,000 mcg.
Some chromium supplements have added niacin, also known as vitamin B3, to enhance the bioavailability of the chromium. Chromium supplements aimed at diabetics may have added cinnamon to lower insulin resistance.
Chromium supplements range in price from as little as $9 to upward of $20 a bottle, depending on the count and quality of the formula.
A. Some of the signs are fatigue, poor memory and concentration, glucose imbalance, bad skin, bone loss, changes in weight, changes in mood, worsening eyesight, and slow wound healing. These can be symptoms of other health conditions and chromium deficiencies are rare, so it’s best to be evaluated by a doctor.
A. You can obtain your daily allowance of chromium by eating one cup of cooked broccoli. Other good sources are green beans, potatoes, grapes, apples, and bananas. Whole grain products, beef and poultry, and dairy products also contain a fair amount of natural chromium.
What we like: Each tablet contains 1,000 mcg of chromium picolinate. Consumers experience a boost in energy. Tablets are small and easy to swallow.