Chromium has attracted more attention lately as a nutritional supplement that may help to treat a diabetic condition naturally. However, there is also concern about chromium toxicity and its potential as a carcinogen.
Chromium is a metallic element that is nutritionally needed in small quantities for metabolism of fats and sugars. Generally, ordinary diets provide more than enough chromium. Yet studies have tied low chromium levels with a higher risk for the development of diabetes.
Other than hexavalent chromium, a toxic industrial waste, chromium is generally understood to be safe as an nutritional supplement, and no upper daily dosage has been established.
Natural Remedies: Chromium supplements may help diabetics improve the performance of insulin in sugar metabolism, thereby reducing diabetic symptoms. It may also be recommended in greater quantities as we age.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
10/04/2010: Okj904 from Brooklyn, Ny, Usa: "Hello, I am concerned that my mother possibly has chromium toxicity, which could cause liver, or kidney damage. She has been taking 1600 mcg of Chromium picolinate for seven or eight weeks. I honestly believe it to be six weeks now. Do you believe damage has incurred? She shows no signs of any kidney damage, or odd urination patterns. Although the first stages of kidney disease are "silent"."Replies
02/10/2012: Bill from Dayton, Tennessee, Usa replies: "I have taken 1,000mg of Chromium Picolinate for about 7 years now. This on advice from an alternative medicine doctor. This, along with the cinnamon I take, are for my diabetes. It got me off of Actos, which has since been found to cause bladder Cancer.
In any case. If you really do suspect she has a kidney or liver problem. Take her to the doctor and get some blood drawn. There are blood tests that can be performed to find this out.
As for it being toxic to kidneys and livers. Anything can be toxic if too much is taken into the body or put on the body. In my case, I have bad kidneys and have had them since birth. I am not 62 years old. About 10 years ago, I was told my kidneys were at the 30% level of functioning. In 2011, my kidneys were tested again. They are now at a 60% level.
I really doubt the 1,600mg are bad, but she should get it down to around 1,000mg. Of course, this is also up to the weight. I weigh over 400 pounds. So she might be better off with less of a dose than I take. Just get those blood tests done first and then go from there.
Oh yeah, about liver problems. About 70% of people in the US have first stage fatty liver. Most people are never even aware of it. I am at stage two. There are five stages. For me, I am not worried about it too much, but I have cut back on my fat intake."
02/02/2013: Slim from West Sacramento, Ca replies: "A study is often cited by Chromium critics that claims that Chromium Picolinate can cause birth defects in the offspring of persons who supplement with Chromium - it should be noted that this study involved the equivalent of 6 GRAMS of Chromium per day (an amount that is 3,000 - 6,000 times that normally used for therapeutic purposes).
- Recently (1997) a study was undertaken that concluded that Chromium Picolinate and Chromium Chloride are safe in doses of up to 2,000 times the estimated safe limit of Chromium for humans.
Women 51 years: 20 mcg 25 mcg Men 51 years: 30 mcg 35 mcg
In-Tele-Health © 2009 (from Hyperhealth Pro CD-ROM)"