Chromium is a mineral that is found in trace amounts in meats, spices, and other foods, but it also often found in supplements.
Many of these supplements claim to help boost your metabolism and produce weight loss. And there is a good amount of evidence supporting these claims.
However, many people ask about the safety and optimal dosage of chromium for weight loss.
The short answer is: Chromium’s dosage for weight loss has been shown to be around 600mcg, but even lower doses could yield a result. Although chromium’s safe upper limit hasn’t yet been determined, it is generally accepted that more than 1,000mcg of chromium per day is unnecessary and may cause gastrointestinal issues in some cases.
This article will talk more in depth about how chromium works, what its studied benefits are, and what its optimal (and safe) dosage for weight loss is.
What is Chromium and What Types of Chromium Supplements Exist?
Chromium is natural trace element that is found in several forms. While one harmful form can be found in industrial pollution, a safe and beneficial form is found naturally in various foods.
This safe type of chromium, also known as trivalent chromium, is thought to be essential, which means you need to get it from your diet.
Although some experts question whether chromium is actually essential, it does assist in many important functions in your body.
For example, chromium is a part of a larger molecule called chromodulin, which regulates the function of insulin. [1, 2]
Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, is vital in your body’s digestion of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
Chromium actually has a low intestinal bioavailability; less than 2.5% of the chromium that you ingest is absorbed. 
However, another type of chromium, chromium picolinate is absorbed a lot better. For this reason, you will often find this type in dietary supplements.
In essence, chromium picolinate is chromium bound to three picolinic acid molecules.
Benefits of Chromium for Weight Loss & Blood Sugar
- It helps to reduce appetite and food cravings
Most of us who have tried to cut weight and keep it off are familiar with the feeling of cravings and strong hunger.
As a result, many people look for foods, supplements, or even medications that could help combat these urges that often lead to food binges – and are one of the main reasons why people can’t really lose weight long-term.
Several studies have looked into chromium picolinate’s effects on appetite control.
A 2-month study found that 1,000mcg of chromium picolinate per day reduced hunger and cravings – and by extension, food intake – in overweight but otherwise healthy women. 
The study authors said that chromium’s influence the brain may be behind these effects.
Other researchers have examined people with depression or binge-eating episodes, as these groups could potentially benefit the most from reducing hunger or cravings.
Another 2-month study recruited 113 people with depressive disorder to receive either 600mcg of chromium picolinate per day, or a placebo.
The study found that the cravings and appetite were reduced in the chromium picolinate group, unlike in the placebo group. 
In addition, a small clinical trial found possible benefits in people having binge-eating disorder. More specifically, doses of between 600-1000mcg/day of chromium picolinate resulted in reduction in the frequency of binging episodes and symptoms of post-binge depression. 
2. It promotes long-term weight loss as a part of a healthy lifestyle
Thanks to chromium’s crucial role in food metabolism and potential effects on eating patterns, several studies have looked into whether it is an effective weight loss compound.
One large meta-analysis examined 9 different studies with 622 overweight or obese invidiuals to get a complete picture of the usefulness of chromium for weight loss.
The dosage of chromium for weight loss used in these studies was up to 1000mcg per day.
Overall, the meta-analysis found that chromium picolinate produced slim weight loss results (1.1kg) after 12-16 weeks in these people.
Since the amount of weight lost was so small, the researchers concluded that the impact of chromium on weight loss specifically is still unclear and that it needs to be studied further. 
Another paper that analyzed available research on chromium and weight loss reported similar findings. After analyzing 11 different studies, the paper authors found a weight loss of only 0.5kg with 8-26 weeks of chromium supplementation.
What can we conclude from this? Essentially, chromium alone is unlikely to give you a substantial result. But, when combined with other proven ingredients in the best fat-burning supplements, it could make a major difference.
Best Food Sources of Chromium for Weight Loss
Although chromium picolinate is most often included in supplements, many foods have some amount of the mineral chromium.
That said, it is important to know that soil depletion and the manufacturing processes can greatly reduce chromium content in foods.
As a result, the real chromium amount in a particular food can vary greatly. This is why there is no reliable database of the chromium content in foods. What’s more, most of the foods that do contain chromium, contain it in very small amounts (1-2mcg per serving).
In the U.S., the recommended daily intake of chromium is 25-35 micrograms per day for adults. After the age of 50, the recommended intake is lowered slightly to 20-30 mcg/day.
Now, here’s some good news: despite the uncertainty regarding the true chromium content of foods and the provisional intake recommendations, chromium deficiency is rare. 
In general, if you’re eating meat, whole-grain products, and some fruits and vegetables, you should be covered for the minimum needed amount of chromium.
Some research shows that broccoli is high in chromium, with around 11 mcg per 1/2 cup, while apples and raising may contain approximately 4-6mcg per serving.
Therefore, eating a balanced diet containing a variety of wholesome foods may help you to meet your body’s chromium needs.
What is the Optimal Chromium Dose for Weight Loss?
As we’ve seen above, most studies show that the optimal dosage of chromium for weight loss is between 600-1000mg per day. This is the dosage that has been shown to lead to a reduction in the frequency of binge-eating episodes and nighttime food cravings.
However, while it’s good to examine the potential benefits of a certain nutrient, it is also crucial to know if there are any dangers to ingesting too much of the good stuff!
The good news is, based on the currently available information, there is no safe upper limit for chromium at the moment. However, it is generally considered that more than 1,000mcg per day may not only be unnecessary but also lead to stomach pain and other issues later down the road.
Is Chromium Safe?
Despite not having a formal UL, some experts have questioned whether chromium picolinate, the one that is most often found in supplements, is really safe.
Based on how this type of chromium is digested by our body, harmful molecules called hydroxyl radicals may be generated.
These molecules are known to damage our DNA and cause a cascade of other problems. 
So while picolinate is a popular choice of chromium supplement, these negative effects in the body may only occur when this type of chromium is consumed.
In addition to these issues, a case study found a potential for kidney problems in people who take doses higher than 1000mcg of chromium per day for weight loss.
Therefore, getting your chromium from foods is the best way to go.
References & Literature
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