Chromium picolinate is a metallic mineral that the body needs in small amounts. Following a healthy diet plan normally provides the amount of chromium picolinate needed by the body. Chromium picolinate also is found in over-the-counter nutritional supplements. This is because it aids the body in metabolising fats and is sometimes used as an appetite suppressant. For these reasons, chromium picolinate is sometimes marketed as a weight loss supplement. Side effects may occur with its use.
The use of chromium picolinate supplements may cause nausea in some users. This is because the body generally needs time to develop a tolerance to the presence of a new supplement or medication. The body will generally develop this tolerance within three to four days of taking the first dose. After this period, the nausea should be minimal to non-existent. If nausea persists, consider alternate supplement options.
Use of chromium picolinate can potentially cause headaches. To avoid developing headaches while using the supplement, do not exceed the dosage recommendation listed on the packaging. Exceeding the dosage recommendation increases the likelihood that headaches will develop.
Changes to Brain Function
In some people, chromium picolinate supplements can cause changes to the brain. Some conditions that may develop from prolonged used include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and behavioural changes. If you already have one or more of these conditions, use caution when taking supplements containing chromium. Make sure to pay attention to any changes in mental state that occur while using chromium picolinate and share them with your physician.
Chromium picolinate may interact with drugs that you are already taking. If you are using chromium picolinate with insulin, make sure to watch your blood sugar level carefully, as chromium picolinate can cause blood sugar levels to decline. If you take the prescription drug Levothyroxine, note that chromium picolinate can block the absorption of the drug. To avoid this interaction, take Levothyroxine and chromium picolinate a few hours apart from one another.
Do not take chromium picolinate with NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, piroxicam and aspirin. Taking them with chromium picolinate can cause liver damage.
Before using chromium picolinate, it is important to consider pre-exisiting medical conditions you may have. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use supplements containing chromium picolinate, unless directed to do so by a physician. If you have kidney problems, avoid use of chromium picolinate, as it is known to cause kidney damage if the dosing recommendations are not followed. Liver damage can occur from taking too much chromium picolinate. You should not take it if you already have liver problems. If you have a chromate or leather contact allergy avoid use of chromium picolinate. Taking chromium picolinate with the condition can cause swelling, rash and scaling of the skin.