Personally, I donât feel chromium picolinate causes cancer. Chronic inhalation of chromium-6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer and â¦ As a weight loss supplement chromium picolinate may be effective, yet there are some potential drawbacks including a cancer risk. Chromium picolinate works together with insulin produced by the pancreas to metabolize carbohydrates. What oral medicines treat type 2 diabetes? "They say her studies are 'extremely questionable.'". Chromium (in the form chromium picolinate or CrPic) has been associated with a reduction in the risk for obesity, less weight gain and may positively affect food intake. It is thought that chromium picolinate can help increase muscle mass. ANAHEIM, Calif., March 23 --New evidence has been reported that a popular nutritional and dietary supplement, called chromium picolinate, may be a cancer risk. "Our first study showed chromosome damage, and our second study has taken it one step further by showing that this damage leads to mutations," she says in a news release. We conclude that chromium picolinate did not cause cancer in female rats WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. "Chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," says James Komorowski, MS, director of research and development at Nutrition 21 in Purchase, N.Y. I have started taking chromium picolinate to help normalize my blood sugar, and it has been helping to keep it in the normal range, if I watch my diet. Within two weeks, the patient showed distinct improvement in signs and symptoms, blood sugar levels improved and insulin requirements were greatly reduced. The investigations show that chromium picolinate resulted in very small amounts of weight loss (about 1.1 kg) after the treatment duration. "We are currently determining the actual type of DNA damage that causes the mutations in order to better understand the relevance of our results to humans who are taking these supplements.". We are looking at the potential, at a chemical level, if it is possible that [chromium picolinate] is a mutagen, and the answer is yes." Possible Link Between Chromium Picolinate and Cancer The results of a study conducted by the University of Alabama in 1999 point to a link between Chromium Picolinate and cancer. Learn about chromium, exposure to which can increase your risk of lung cancer and cancer of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Chromium is poorly absorbed following oral administration, but salt forms such as chromium picolinate, niacin-bound chromium, and chromium chloride, appear to have better bioavailability. But Vincent asks, "what happens in six months, or a year, or longer? The demand for chromium pills -- often sold in the form of chromium picolinate -- is based on a simple and common premise: The mineral supposedly helps build muscle and burn fat. Most trials used chromium picolinate, and others used chromium-enriched yeast or chromium nicotinate. Selenium is partially excreted in the urine. These and many other studies implicated chromium as a critical cofactor in insulin actioâ¦ "If it's stable enough that it gets into the cells intact," says Vincent, "then it could be a big concern.". Participants taking chromium supplements lost significantly more weight, 0.75 kg, than those taking placebo and also had a significant 0.40 kg/m 2 reduction in BMI and body fat percentage, 0.68%, in comparison with placebo. You may require medications along with healthy consuming and exercise routines to manage your type 2 diabetes. When combined with picolinic acid, it is referred to as chromium picolinate and is sold as a nutritional supplement. Benefits and Dangers of Chromium Picolinate for Weight Loss There are two schools of thought when it comes to the benefits of chromium picolinate for losing weight. It turns out that chromium side effects also include cancer â itâs very carcinogenic. A recent USDA study fed rats a diet rich in the compound for 24 weeks and did not see any ill effects. However, there may be potential risks in the higher dosages of chromium (see Safety Issues). Materials provided by American Chemical Society. "Simple chromium compounds don't do this," says Vincent. What oral medications deal with type 2 diabetes? "Chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," says James Komorowski, MS, director of research and development at Nutrition 21 in Purchase, N.Y. â¦ The dosage of chromium used in studies ranges from 200 mcg to 1,000 mcg daily, mostly in the form of chromium picolinate. We conclude that the occurence of preputial gland adenomas in one group of male rats was possibly associated with exposure to chromium picolinate. Chromium picolinate, on the other hand, is more readily taken in during digestive processes. 22.214.171.124 Chromium Picolinate. However, the jury is still out on how effective this supplement is when used for these purposes. It often is an ingredient in products ranging from sports drinks and gum to pills. Hexavalent chromium compounds have been used as corrosion inhibitors in a wide variety of products and processes. You can take numerous diabetes medications by mouth. Chromium picolinate is an organic compound of trivalent chromium and picolinic acid, a naturally occurring derivative of tryptophan. There are two forms of chromium: trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. The hamster cell study, published in the journal Mutation Research, builds on studies dating to 1995, according to lead author Diane Stearns, assistant professor of biochemistry at Northern Arizona University. A safety paper published by the USDA comments on animal cell studies like Stearns,' citing "that one cannot extrapolate from a hamster tissue culture what could happen in humans," says Komorowski. "We want to make sure that consumers do not misinterpret this data," he tells WebMD. "Those doses are so high, she had to use acetone to get the chromium picolinate to go into solution, so you're using a toxic agent and mixing it with a huge dose of chromium picolinate and exposing it directly to ovary cells. A new study builds on earlier findings that hamster cells grown in a laboratory -- when exposed to chromium picolinate -- develop mutations in the cells' DNA. A study led by the universities of Sydney and NSW has shown that living cells convert chromium III, a naturally occurring element used as a weight loss and type-2 diabetes treatment, into its âcarcinogenic cousinâ â hexavalent chromium, the industrial pollutant made notorious by the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich and a 2011 chemical spill near Newcastle. The picolinic form increases Cr absorption from the GI tract, although this remains quite low, around 3%. Nutrition 21's studies have focused on weight loss, cholesterol, and diabetes. Chromium is an essential mineral your body needs in small amounts. The health claims for chromium are based on its status as an essential human nutrient required for normal carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Stearns continued, explaining that demonstrating a compound is mutagenic is not the same thing as showing it can cause cancer--that can only be demonstrated through animal or human studies. But Australian researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales found that when chromium picolinate enters cells in the body, it is partially converted into a cancer-causing chemical. ScienceDaily, 24 March 1999. "Careful investigation into the effects of long-term diet supplementation with chromium picolinate are needed to evaluate its mutagenic and carcinogenic potentials. A pilot scale study was done on 622 women who were obese. Chromium picolinate and weight loss. Given that in vitro studies suggest that other forms of chromium used as nutritional supplements, such as chromium chloride, are unlikely to be susceptible to generating this type of oxidative damage, the use of these compounds, rather than Cr(pic)(3), would appear warranted. "Also, it is known that chromium can accumulate in the body; therefore, we caution against taking excessive doses of chromium picolinate for long periods of time. I learned to do my research and not just rely on doctors alone. Her work further showed that, once inside those laboratory cells, it appeared to induce cleavage of chromosomal DNA. You may require medicines together with healthy eating and exercise practices to handle your type 2 diabetes. The FDA considers chromium picolinate a nutritional supplement and therefore does not regulate it. It is not known what actually happens in humans, or even animals when chromium picolinate is consumed. Chromium is also a hugely popular dietary supplement -- and not because the nation has developed a sudden mania for well-controlled blood sugar. And the issue is created with very little effort. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990324062736.htm (accessed December 27, 2020). "They have to have ligands -- something that binds to chromium -- that make the properties just right and picolinate is one of those ligands.". P2. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. These obese individuals were given about 1000 Î¼g/day of chromium picolinate for 12 â 16 weeks. Chromium is believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats.1ï»¿ It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. It is used to prevent chromium deficiency, which may develop as a result of poor diet, stress and aging. Itâs been long known that chromium-6 is highly toxic. American Chemical Society. Found in vitamins and mineral supplements, Chromium may be necessary for utilization of dietary sugars and carbohydrates by optimizing the effects of insulin. Research on the benefits of chromium to enhance fat loss and increase performance in bodybuilders and athletes has provided mixed results. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Animal tissue studies like Stearns' "cannot be used to conclude that something causes cancer, " says Komorowski. New Device Detects Which Hand Gesture You Want to Make, Key Advance for Printing Circuitry on Wearable Fabrics, Luminescent Wood Could Light Up Homes of the Future, Research Lays Groundwork for Ultra-Thin, Energy Efficient Photodetector on Glass. This creates an incredible cancer potential. The besâ¦ Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments, Closer to a Cancer Cure? In a 1995 paper she demonstrated that chromium picolinate can get into cells, at least in a lab dish. A new study found that chromium is partially converted into a carcinogenic form when it enters cells (File photo) The mineral is primarily found in two forms. In her study, Stearns exposed live hamster ovary cells to high dosages chromium picolinate and found a high incidence of mutated cells. Studies show chromium supplementation can improve mood, reduce cravings, improve insulin sensitivity, regulate blood glucose levels, and improve binge eating and depression symptoms. ScienceDaily. Renger F. Witkamp, in Comprehensive Natural Products II, 2010. Chemists from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, presented findings here today at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, which they say show chromium(III) tris(picolinate) causes DNA breakage. Chromium Picolinate Cancer. Chromium is a trace mineral found in two main forms, trivalent chromium (III) and hexavalent chromium (VI). You can take numerous diabetes medications by mouth. Conclusions. ", The current findings are "more indicative" of this cancer-causing potential, Stearns says. (NCI04) Supplemental doses of these agents may need to be adjusted, reduced, or omitted in patients with renal dysfunction. Glucose tolerance factor chromium, more commonly called chromium GTF, is a mineral that is frequently used in bodybuilding, athletic and weight-loss supplements. Animal studies suggest that chromium picolinate may be carcinogenic, it enters cells directly and can causes mutations. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. Questions? It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. "You can't take that and say humans should be concerned.". Still, chromium's role in these processes is not well understood. In theory, this might mean chromium picolinate might cause cancer. This article examines the evidence to determine the benefits of chromium picolinate. Have any problems using the site? ", Stearns found that 58 of 1 million cells had DNA damage, Komorowski points out. The Alabama scientists believe it does this job by making the insulin receptor work better. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Nutrition 21 has conducted "numerous clinical studies involving over 3,000 subjects -- in studies between three months and one year in duration -- and there have been absolutely no side effects," Komorowski tells WebMD. Chromium picolinate is claimed to reduce body fat and build muscle. One form, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. "Mutations in certain genes may lead to cancer. The trace metals, chromium and zinc, are excreted primarily in the urine. Nutrition 21 is the leading developer and marketer of chromium-based nutritional supplements. New Treatments That May Change the Game, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. In addition, development of other readily absorbable sources of chromium that lack the DNA-damaging ability of chromium picolinate seems warranted.". ANAHEIM, Calif., March 23 --New evidence has been reported that a popular nutritional and dietary supplement, called chromium picolinate, may be a cancer risk. American Chemical Society. But one chromium manufacturer says it has conducted extensive human tests. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. It also has been suggested that the supplement reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and the symptoms of diabetes. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Content on this website is for information only. Chromium is marketed as a protection against Type 2 diabetes and as a so-called "sugar balance" pill to help weight loss. All rights reserved. Reason #2 why chromium polynicotinate was mentioned by Dr Oz may have to do with some controversial research in the 1990s that hinted that high doses chromium picolinate might damage DNA. The Alabama studies advance the work of the late Dartmouth University chemist Karen Wetterhahn, Ph.D., who died from a widely publicized mercury-poisoning accident. Now we find out that the body turns chromium-3 into chromium-6. (1999, March 24). Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. This was due to concerns raised by the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals that chromium(III) picolinate might be genotoxic (cause cancer). Chromium picolinate has been used in alternative medicine to treat chromium deficiency, as an aid to controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes or prediabetes, to lower cholesterol, and as a weight-loss supplement. Chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement derived by combining chromium and picolinic acid. ", "I would definitely be concerned about taking this nutritional supplement based on what we've found," concludes Vincent. Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk. I had breast cancer five years ago with a resulting mastectomy. The element is needed only in trace amounts, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that more than 90% of American diets contain less than the minimum recommended daily allowance of chromium and dietary sources are extremely poorly absorbed by the body. gland was greater in male rats receiving 10,000 ppm chromium picolinate than in the control group. Vincent found that chromium picolinate reacts with common biochemicals, like vitamin C. He says the products "can then catalyze a reaction with oxygen to generate the potent DNA-damaging hydroxyl radical." My doctor has not put me on medication for my diabetes at this time. Furthermore, University of Alabama chemists John B. Vincent, Ph.D., and Stephen A. Woski, Ph.D., say their laboratory has found the compound is remarkably stable and unaffected by water, buffers, or blood serum proteins. ScienceDaily. The earliest study that showed the effect of chromium supplementation in decreasing symptoms of diabetes was done in the 1970s, when a patient was given supplemental chromium. Chromium-6 is recognized as a human carcinogen when it is inhaled. The committee also noted two case reports of kidney failure that might have been caused by this supplement and called for further research into its safety. This research has been peer-reviewed and will soon appear in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. A few studies have even suggested that very high chromium levels can cause DNA damage and may cause cancer. "Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk." It plays a role in how your body breaks down fats and carbohydrates. 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Until now, though, there was no solid explanation for just how chromium picolinate caused the damage. These medicines are called oral medicines. "There are studies that can be used to determine if a substance is toxic or not, and Nutrition 21 has done those studies, and chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," he tells WebMD.
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