To understand how chromium picolinate works in your body, you first have to understand how the body produces insulin. Every time we eat, our bodies release a hormone called insulin. Insulin originates in our pancreas and plays a part in supplying our body with glucose, something our cells require in order to function [source: Larsen]. You can think of it in terms that glucose is to cells as fuel is to cars.
Now that you understand what insulin does, you might be wondering how chromium has any part in this process. Chromium has been shown to help insulin carry glucose to the body's cells [source: Larsen]. It's then believed that chromium has a role in overseeing the breakdown of fat and glucose. This theory about the function of chromium hasn't had the benefit of being tested rigorously to the point that it's proven or disproven.
Several theories about what chromium really does conflict with each other. For instance, there's a theory that because chromium streamlines the production of insulin, it has an effect on serotonin. Another theory claims that chromium in the body helps keep fat production in check. And yet another theory states that chromium boosts the processes of protein in the body. Whatever the theories are, none have been proven to be definite answers to the questions we have about chromium's exact purpose in the body's functions [source: Allen].
Many marketing and advertising companies focused on health products like to promote the supposed benefits of chromium picolinate. Read the next page to find out what these benefits are.