You may require medicines together with healthy eating and exercise practices to handle your type 2 diabetes. 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. Chromium picolinate is a supplemental form of chromium said to improve nutrient metabolism and promote weight loss. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. It often is an ingredient in products ranging from sports drinks and gum to pills. 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. American Chemical Society. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. gland was greater in male rats receiving 10,000 ppm chromium picolinate than in the control group. A few studies have even suggested that very high chromium levels can cause DNA damage and may cause cancer. ANAHEIM, Calif., March 23 --New evidence has been reported that a popular nutritional and dietary supplement, called chromium picolinate, may be a cancer risk. Chronic inhalation of chromium-6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer and â¦ 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. 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. As a weight loss supplement chromium picolinate may be effective, yet there are some potential drawbacks including a cancer risk. Chromium picolinate is an organic compound of trivalent chromium and picolinic acid, a naturally occurring derivative of tryptophan. ", The current findings are "more indicative" of this cancer-causing potential, Stearns says. 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? These medications are called oral medications. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. It turns out that chromium side effects also include cancer â itâs very carcinogenic. ScienceDaily, 24 March 1999. Such events are known, in some cases, to cause genetic mutations and cancer in humans, the researchers noted. ScienceDaily. A nonprofit organization with a membership of nearly 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. In her study, Stearns exposed live hamster ovary cells to high dosages chromium picolinate and found a high incidence of mutated cells. These obese individuals were given about 1000 Î¼g/day of chromium picolinate for 12 â 16 weeks. Found in vitamins and mineral supplements, Chromium may be necessary for utilization of dietary sugars and carbohydrates by optimizing the effects of insulin. Itâs been long known that chromium-6 is highly toxic. Chromium is an essential mineral your body needs in small amounts. 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. This creates an incredible cancer potential. "We want to make sure that consumers do not misinterpret this data," he tells WebMD. Learn about chromium, exposure to which can increase your risk of lung cancer and cancer of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. "Mutations in certain genes may lead to cancer. "They say her studies are 'extremely questionable.'". Hexavalent chromium compounds have been used as corrosion inhibitors in a wide variety of products and processes. These medicines are called oral medicines. "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 had breast cancer five years ago with a resulting mastectomy. P2. It is used to prevent chromium deficiency, which may develop as a result of poor diet, stress and aging. Content on this website is for information only. Still, chromium's role in these processes is not well understood. American Chemical Society. Chromium is marketed as a protection against Type 2 diabetes and as a so-called "sugar balance" pill to help weight loss. Chromium Picolinate Cancer. New Treatments That May Change the Game, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. American Chemical Society. Chromium Picolinate Linked To Cancer. But there's preliminary evidence that chromium picolinate causes severe damage to chromosomes in hamsters' ovary cells. However, the jury is still out on how effective this supplement is when used for these purposes. When combined with picolinic acid, it is referred to as chromium picolinate and is sold as a nutritional supplement. Personally, I donât feel chromium picolinate causes cancer. 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. The trace metals, chromium and zinc, are excreted primarily in the urine. Supplemental doses of these agents may need to be adjusted, reduced, or omitted in patients with renal dysfunction. What oral medications deal with type 2 diabetes? "Simple chromium compounds don't do this," says Vincent. Stearns admits that the doses used in her study were higher than one would get from a few pills. 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. You can take numerous diabetes medications by mouth. This article examines the evidence to determine the benefits of chromium picolinate. Chromium picolinate is claimed to reduce body fat and build muscle. "Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk." Within two weeks, the patient showed distinct improvement in signs and symptoms, blood sugar levels improved and insulin requirements were greatly reduced. 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. It is thought that chromium picolinate can help increase muscle mass. Other novel chromium compounds also have improved bioavailability (40) (41) . 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. Chromium picolinate and weight loss. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. A pilot scale study was done on 622 women who were obese. 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. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. "You can't take that and say humans should be concerned.". Most trials used chromium picolinate, and others used chromium-enriched yeast or chromium nicotinate. 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. 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." WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. "If it's stable enough that it gets into the cells intact," says Vincent, "then it could be a big concern.". Nutrition 21 is the leading developer and marketer of chromium-based nutritional supplements. . ' '' Stearns ' `` can not be used to prevent chromium deficiency, which may as... Trace metals, chromium picolinate until now, though, there may be carcinogenic it... Necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its staff, its contributors, or a,! In one group of male rats receiving 10,000 ppm chromium picolinate, on the benefits of chromium caused! Control group damage, Komorowski points out this supplement is when used these!, 2010 this article examines the evidence to determine the benefits of chromium that lack the DNA-damaging of! Therefore does not chromium picolinate cancer it `` can not be used to conclude that the body chromium-3! 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