Is Chromium Picolinate Safe?
Many people are confused about different types of chromium (or other minerals for that matter). These different “forms” refer to the delivery mechanism of the mineral into your body.
However, there is now a debate regarding the safety of chromium picolinate. There was a study done by Dr. John Vincent of University of Alabama shows apparently showed that chromium picolinate, when in contact with antioxidants, caused mutations in DNA.
However this study was completely taken out of context and even Dr. Vincent admitted the study was flawed, “It is not known what actually happens in humans, or even animals when Chromium Picolinate is consumed. A recent USDA study fed rats a diet rich in the compound for 24 weeks and did not see any ill effects. But Vincent asks, “what happens in six months, or a year, or longer?”
What does this mean? It means that this study was done ‘in vitro’ (Latin for within the glass; test tube) rather than ‘in vivo’ (Latin for within the living; in human/animal).
Many Forms of Chromium
There are many forms of chromium; the following is the most common:
- Chromium picolinate (bound to picolinic acid)
- Chromium chloride (bound to chloride; lowest absorption rate)
- Chromium aspartate (bound to Aspartic Acid)
- Chromium amino acid chelate (bound to vegetable amino acids)
- Chromium nicotinate; polynicotinate (bound to niacin)
- Chromium GTF (one molecule of Chromium, two molecules of Nicotinic Acid and one molecule each of Glutamic Acid)
First, let’s talk a bit about what picolinate is.
Picolinate is one of many different types of “carriers” that in essence “carry” a mineral so it can be absorbed. These carriers are known as chelators. Picolinic acid, produced from the amino acid tryptophan in the liver and kidneys and transported to the pancreas, is the body’s prime natural chelator. It has been shown to be the most efficient chelator for other trace minerals such as: zinc, manganese, iron, molybdenum, and copper.
Based on science, it is known that mineral uptake by tissues is far greater when the mineral is carried by a picolinate. And based on this knowledge, as well as the presence of picolinic acid in our own body, the idea that this form of any mineral being dangerous is simply absurd.
Dr. Richard Anderson, one of the most respected researchers regarding chromium, has subjected rats to several thousand times the dosage of chromium picolinate without a toxic effect. Of course, chromium picolinate has been taken by millions of people for years and it is notably very safe and non-toxic.
The Media is at it Again!
The media scare of this very effective trace mineral appears to be another attempt of trying to sway the public away from nutrients that work; not to mention nutrients that are far cheaper than pharmaceutical drugs.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a ban on chromium picolinate in the future only to hear of a “new drug” for diabetes, of course with the price tag to go along with it.
Bottom line; the benefits of chromium are far too important to be overlooked or dismissed.