YOU CAN MAKE FOR YOURSELF
Chromium is a mineral that humans require in trace amounts. It's found in small quantities in foods such as brewer's yeast, calf liver, whole grains, processed meats and cheese. Since then, chromium has been studied for diabetes and has become a popular dietary supplement. It is widely available in health food stores, drug stores and online. Chromium is also believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats. It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. One form in particular, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. In 1995, a study headed by Diane Stearns, PhD, at Dartmouth College generated controversy about the safety of chromium picolinate. The researchers added high concentrations of chromium picolinate, chromium chloride or chromium nicotinate to hamster cells in culture and found that only chromium picolinate could damage the genetic material of the hamster cells. Since then, other laboratory studies using cell cultures and animals have suggested chromium picolinate causes oxidative stress and DNA damage. Critics say that the scientists used unrealistically high doses and that administering chromium to cells in test tubes is not the same as taking chromium supplements orally. No adverse events have been consistently and frequently reported with short-term chromium use in human studies. For this reason, the Institute of Medicine has not set a recommended upper limit for chromium.