Health benefits of chromium

Chromium is a mineral, which is very low in food. There are two main forms of this mineral: trivalent, which is the kind that people can consume in food and supplements, and hexavalent, which is toxic and found to be industrially contaminated.

As we all know, chromium is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It may also help improve insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.Chromium supplements are commonly used to aid weight loss (although it is not clear whether it actually helps weight loss). Perhaps most famously, chromium supplements are also considered a potential natural remedy for depression.

But before going to a health food store, please understand how people think chromium works. Of course, please consult your doctor before taking any medications or nutritional supplements.

Health benefits

There are some theories as to why chromium may help relieve depression. One is based on early animal studies and is related to the way chromium causes cells to become more sensitive to insulin. This increased sensitivity is thought to help move an amino acid called tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system. Tryptophan is converted into a neurotransmitter called serotonin-low levels of serotonin are linked to depression. Therefore, the more tryptophan transported by insulin, the more serotonin is available in the brain.

Chromium may also help depression by inducing and enhancing the release of norepinephrine, which is another mood regulating neurotransmitter. Finally, studies in animals and humans indicate that chromium appears to reduce the activity of a specific type of serotonin receptor called 5-HT 2A receptor. Scientists have not yet figured out how this happens, but the effects are similar to those of people who have used antidepressants for a long time.


So far, chromium has shown the greatest promise in treating subtypes of depression that affect carbohydrate cravings and appetite regulation, such as atypical depression. For example, a study showed that chromium may affect symptoms such as increased appetite and eating, cravings for carbohydrates, and day and night mood changes. This is a type of depression in which the symptoms are worse in the morning, but worsen over time. improve.

However, the research on the treatment of depression with chromium is very preliminary, and the results of the study are mixed, so there is still a long way to go before it can be determined that chromium can really treat depression.

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Possible side effects

The good news is that most people can take chromium without any problems.

The most common side effects are difficulty falling asleep when starting to take chromium supplements; many vivid dreams; and slight tremors. It is also generally safe, so if chromium is indeed a potential treatment for depression, it may be easy for most people to use.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women may be an exception because chromium has not been tested for safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Certain drugs can interact with chromium. In some cases, the drug may damage or increase the absorption of chromium. In other cases, chromium may interfere with or enhance the effects of drugs.

If you are currently taking any of the following medications, please consult your doctor before taking chromium:

  • beta blockers
  • insulin
  • niacin
  • Prostaglandin inhibitors (including ibuprofen and aspirin)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antacid
  • H2 blocker
  • Proton pump inhibitor
  • Synthetic (levothyroxine)


Since chromium interferes with sleep, it is best to take it in the morning.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not take chromium supplements, and do not give chromium supplements to children, because the impact and safety for these people have not been determined.


If you have kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes, please avoid taking chromium supplements or consult your doctor first.There are reports that chromium supplements cause kidney damageAnd evidence that supplements can cause liver damage,Therefore, if you already have kidney or liver problems, you should not take these mineral supplements. Since chromium may affect your insulin levels, if you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor and closely monitor your blood sugar.

Dosage and preparation

According to research, the most resistant and easily absorbed form of chromium is chromium picolinate. Chromium is found everywhere on the counter and is one of the most commonly used supplements. These supplements come in two forms, capsules and tablets, but they can also be taken as a powder or mixed with liquid. It is usually sold as a separate supplement, but it is also often included in products for performance enhancement and weight loss.

The food labeling requirements established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stipulate that the 100% daily value (DV) of chromium is 35 micrograms (mcg) per day.

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Because it is not known how much chromium people need, there is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for this supplement. Supplements usually contain 50 to 200 micrograms per dose. Chromium can also be obtained by prescription as an injection. The recommended dose of this injection is 10 to 15 micrograms per day for adults.

Adequate intake of chromium (AI)
age male
9-13 years old 25 twenty one
14-18 years old 35 twenty four
19-50 years old 35 25
Over 50 years 30 29

The National Academy of Sciences established an adequate chromium intake in 1989.

The National Institutes of Health reports that adult women consume an average of 23 to 29 micrograms of chromium from food, which meets their adequate intake needs. On the other hand, men consume an average of 39 to 54 micrograms per day from food, which means they exceed the recommended adequate intake.

There are currently no dosage recommendations for patients with depression. A study found that the daily intake of 600 to 1,000 micrograms of chromium is associated with reducing symptoms of depression, but further research is needed.

Although studies have examined the effects of different doses of chromium supplements, it is not clear how much is too much and what the potential effects of excessive intake of chromium may be. Because of this, the National Academy of Sciences has not yet established an upper limit (UL) for chromium.

The National Institutes of Health stated that more research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of chromium supplements, and people should always talk to their doctors before taking any supplements.

What to look for

Most people can reach or exceed their adequate chromium intake through diet alone. If you decide to take a chromium supplement, choose one from reputable brands and retailers. Always follow the dosage recommendations and discuss any potential interactions or concerns with your doctor beforehand.

To get more chromium from food, check out the following good sources:

  • broccoli
  • beer yeast
  • Lean meat (especially processed meat)
  • cheese
  • beef
  • poultry
  • Whole wheat bread and cereals
  • Molasses
  • spices
  • Some bran grains
  • Apple
  • banana
  • Grape juice

other problems

What if people lack chromium?

Early animal studies conducted in the 1960s found that chromium deficiency can lead to poor blood glucose control. Chromium deficiency in humans is considered very rare.

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What are the risks of consuming too much chromium?

There is no established upper limit for chromium intake. There are few serious negative side effects associated with high chromium intake.

Very good sentence

Larger studies are needed to investigate the potential health benefits of chromium, including the mineral’s possible effect on depression symptoms. Although taking chromium supplements has almost no side effects, the best way is to focus on getting enough daily intake through food by following a healthy diet.

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Other inaccurate and incomprehensible VigorTip Mind only uses high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed research, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we conduct fact checks and ensure that our content is accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Hua Y, Clark S, Ren J, Sreejayan N. The molecular mechanism of chromium reducing insulin resistance. J Nutr Biochem. 2012;23(4):313-9. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.11.001

  2. Cerulli J, Grabe DW, Gauthier I, Malone M, Mcgoldrick MD. Toxicity of chromium picolinate. Ann Fakeser. 1998;32(4):428-31. doi:10.1345/aph.17327

  3. Navarro VJ, Khan I, Björnsson E, Seeff LB, Serrano J, Hoofnagle JH. Liver damage caused by herbs and dietary supplements. Hepatology. 2017;65(1):363-373. doi:10.1002/hep.28813

  4. Food and Drug Administration. Food labeling: Revise the factual labeling of nutrition and supplements. Released on May 27, 2016.

  5. US Food and Drug Administration. 4 μg/ml Chromium Chloride Injection, US Pharmacopoeia. Updated in April 2002.

  6. Brownley KA, Von Holle A, Hamer RM, La Via M, Bulik CM. A double-blind randomized pilot trial of chromium picolinate in the treatment of binge eating disorder: results of the binge eating disorder and chromium (BEACh) study. Journal of Psychological Research. 2013;75(1):36-42. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.03.092

  7. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. chromium. Updated on July 9, 2019.

Supplementary reading

  • Chromium: fact sheet for dietary supplements. National Institutes of Health. Updated on July 9, 2019.

  • Iovieno N, Dalton ED, Fava M, Mischoulon D. Second-line natural antidepressants: review and criticism. J influence disorder. 2011;130(3):343-357. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2010.06.010

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