Chromium is a widely sold food supplement that is extremely important for the functioning of our body and individual functions. For example, it is present in bones, fat and muscles and contributes to various metabolic functions. In our chromium test 2021 you can find out everything you need to know about this dietary supplement. At the end of the guide, all your questions will be answered and you can make a purchase decision. We have researched all the information in detail so that you do everything right when taking chromium.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Chrome: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for chromium supplements
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about chromium answered in detail
- 5.1 What is chromium and how does it work?
- 5.2 When and for whom is it useful to take chromium?
- 5.3 What do chromium supplements cost?
- 5.4 What types of chromium are there?
- 5.5 How should chromium be dosed?
- 5.6 What are the alternatives to chromium?
- 5.7 How do I recognise a chromium overdose?
- 5.8 Is chromium carcinogenic?
The most important facts
- Chromium is used in the body for various metabolic functions, such as carbohydrate or fat metabolism, and is also found in the skeleton and muscles.
- However, the absorption of chromium via the digestive tract is very low, which is why chromium picolinate is often used in food supplements, as it has a higher absorption capacity.
- Too much chromium in the body can have a harmful effect. Allergies or, in the worst case, even cancer can then occur.
The Best Chrome: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for chromium supplements
When buying chromium or chromium picolinate products, you should pay attention to a few things:
By following these four criteria, you will save money and at the same time find a very high-quality food supplement that is good for your health.
You should make sure that the chromium comes from the EU or, even better, from Germany. These countries have strict regulations for the production of food supplements and quality assurance. The manufacturers there also have their products tested by independent laboratories, so you can be sure that you are buying a high-quality and safe product.
If you buy chromium in tablet or capsule form, you can choose a different dosage. The dose ranges from 200 to 400 µg of chromium or chromium picolinate in different products. In our advice section you will learn how to dose chromium correctly and can then use this as a guide when buying. Liquid preparations, on the other hand, can be dosed more individually because you can measure out the liquid exactly.
Bioavailability describes how high the proportion of an active substance is in the bloodstream. This measurement allows you to see how quickly the substance takes effect in the body and is thus available to it. Chromium picolinate in particular has a high bioavailability and is also extremely well tolerated. So look for this criterion when buying chromium picolinate to enable your body to absorb the trace element quickly.
The digestibility of pure chromium is very low. That is why the chromium picolinate already mentioned is used in the production of food supplements. Three picolinic acids are attached to the chromium molecule and these ensure better absorption by the body.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about chromium answered in detail
In our advice section we answer all your questions about chromium in detail. We have done extensive research and found out the most important questions about the intake and effects of chromium. Afterwards you will be well informed about all the facts.
What is chromium and how does it work?
Chromium is a heavy metal that is also a harmless mineral found in many foods. The trivalent form of chromium used to be considered essential and had to be supplied through food. Nowadays, however, it is disputed whether chromium is still so important for humans. (3) Nevertheless, chromium is an important trace element that supports a variety of functions in the human body. This includes, for example, the influence of chromium on carbohydrate and fat metabolism at a molecular level. (1) Furthermore, it is assumed that chromium plays a role in insulin signal transmission (1) and is therefore also an extremely relevant substance for diabetics (2).
One study investigated whether chromium can contribute to weight reduction. For this purpose, 54 overweight women received either 200 µg chromium picolinate or a placebo for twelve weeks. (4) At the end of the test phase, it was found that weight could be reduced a little. This effect is attributed to the involvement of chromium in fat metabolism. (1)
Improving blood sugar levels
Insulin transports the sugar that comes from our food into the blood, providing the body with energy to perform muscle movements and many other things. Growth hormone is produced in the pancreas. The cells that make insulin are completely absent in diabetics.
It has been observed in various studies that chromium administration to patients with diabetes can cause various positive effects. Insulin binding to the cells increases, the number and activity of insulin receptors increases and insulin sensitivity also increases (5)
Reduction of hunger and cravings
Since chromium already plays a role in weight loss and insulin levels, it has been hypothesised that the trace element can also reduce hunger and cravings. 42 overweight women with strong cravings for carbohydrates were given 1000 µg chromium picolinate or a placebo for eight weeks. (6) Food intake was measured in the morning, at noon and in the evening. And indeed, it was found that the chromium-treated women ate less food and also felt less hungry.
When and for whom is it useful to take chromium?
In general, chromium intake is useful for all groups of people. For adolescents and adults, a daily dose of 30 to 100 µg is recommended. For pregnant women and older people, the requirement is somewhat higher because the depots are used up more quickly.
It has been found that athletes on a strict diet do not have enough chromium in their bodies. (7) Supposedly, a supply of chromium also causes increased muscle growth and reduces the body fat percentage. (7) Whether these effects can really be achieved through the dietary supplement alone needs to be researched further.
What do chromium supplements cost?
Depending on which dosage form you prefer, the prices for chromium supplements vary somewhat.
|Dosage form||price per 100 g or 100 ml|
|Chromium tablets||15 to 40 euros|
|Chromium capsules||10 to 40 euros|
|Liquid chromium||approx. 20 euros|
Since the products are all of very high quality, the prices are within a similar range.
What types of chromium are there?
Trivalent chromium is the only form that is tolerated by humans and is harmless. This is why it is offered in various forms. We have listed the differences between these forms here:
|Type||Description and use|
|Chromium tablets||The tablets are very small and contain a certain amount of chromium picolinate, depending on the manufacturer. They are either taken with water or sucked.|
|Chromium capsules||The capsules are filled with chromium in powder form and surrounded by a shell. This is often made of gelatine, which is why capsules are not suitable for vegans.|
|Liquid chromium||In liquid form, the chromium can be dosed very individually. It can be measured out exactly with a cap and then simply mixed with water or juice.|
If you have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, you can simply use liquid chromium. The dosage is much more individual and can be adjusted to your personal needs. On the other hand, tablets or capsules are easier to take when you are on the go.
How should chromium be dosed?
A daily dose of 100 to 200 µg is recommended for adolescents and adults. It doesn't matter what time of day you take the supplement. You should just wait at least 30 minutes after taking it before eating another meal. However, one study suggests that 70 µg should not be exceeded due to possible side effects. (11) The individual manufacturers will also have based their recommended dosage on scientific studies, which is why you can rely on the safety of the chromium products. If you still have doubts, discuss them with a doctor.
What are the alternatives to chromium?
We would like to introduce you to some foods as an alternative to a dietary supplement containing chromium. This way you can decide whether there is another way to cover your needs for the trace element.
There are some foods that contain a high amount of chromium in a natural way. Some of these include broccoli, grapefruit juice, meat, fish, grains, nuts, legumes and cheese.
How do I recognise a chromium overdose?
If you have taken too much chromium, you may have some reactions. This is called poisoning, which can be of two types:
- Acute poisoning: Acute poisoning with chromium leads to severe vomiting, diarrhoea and severe pain. These symptoms can be so severe that shock and even death occur. Acute poisoning can also lead to subsequent damage. Damage to the liver or kidneys is possible.
- Chronic poisoning: In case of very long-term contact with chromium, ulcers may appear on the skin and cold symptoms usually develop. In addition, inhaling chromium dust can cause severe nose bleeds.
These two types of poisoning can occur with food supplements containing chromium. This rarely happens, however, because it contains the harmless trivalent chromium. These poisonings are more likely to occur with tetravalent and hexavalent chromium, which is often found in building materials and thus also enters the environment unfiltered. Animals are also attacked by this harmful substance. (8)
Is chromium carcinogenic?
Chromium is not carcinogenic if the need is correctly determined and the correct dosage is taken. However, there is a study that found a mutagenic effect of trivalent chromium on the cells of rodents and humans. (9) On the other hand, hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer. The respiratory tract, i.e. the lungs, nose and sinuses, are particularly affected. (10) Symptoms such as nasal irritation, the development of ulcers and perforation of the nasal septum are signs to diagnose lung cancer. (10)
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