Eastern and Western Medicine

A major clinical study gave chromium supplements to a group of Chinese people in order to test the supplement's interaction with diabetes. In this study, researches found that chromium was beneficial to people with diabetes. The problem is that this study's results can't be transferred to Americans, since Americans have a different obesity risk factor than the Chinese [source: UC Berkeley Wellness Letter].

Chromium Picolinate Benefits

Chromium picolinate has been heavily promoted in our society as a miracle supplement that might provide your body with numerous benefits helping a wide range of people looking for ways to combat their diabetes and obesity or help with their muscle-building issues.

To highlight chromium picolinate's most plausible benefit, we'll need to remember what role the mineral chromium plays in the body's normal day-to-day functions. You learned on the previous page that chromium is an important mineral that helps process carbohydrates and fats. The way chromium does this is by triggering a reaction from insulin, the hormone that provides blood sugar fuel to cells. Because of this mineral's role in the functioning of insulin, some people believe that chromium picolinate could prevent and treat diabetes [source: UC Berkeley Wellness Letter].

Because chromium also plays a role in the processing of fats and carbohydrates, some people believe that chromium picolinate might help with obesity, thinking the supplement would lessen someone's appetite and craving for certain foods, in addition to building lean muscle mass [source: Body Building for You]. A more complete picture of the relationship between chromium picolinate and weight loss will be explored later in this article.

Though the benefits previously mentioned are the most well-known, there are several other things that promoters of chromium picolinate claim the supplement can do, such as curb depression, boost energy, prevent blemishes and even increase strength. Something to keep in mind, though, is the fact that not all of these claims have been substantiated by reputable scientific studies [source: Allen].

Like most supplements, chromium picolinate does have side effects. Click to the next page to find out what they are.