Dosages of 200 to 1,000 micrograms of chromium per day were found to offer no significant benefits and were deemed to be ineffective for weight loss in a review of 24 studies cited by WebMD. Claims have been made that chromium picolinate reduces body fat and builds muscle mass.
Chromium is a trace mineral that works in combination with the insulin provided by the pancreas to metabolize carbohydrates, explains Drugs.com. Diabetics often use chromium to control blood sugar levels, but because it is naturally derived from food sources and required in small amounts, deficiency is rare. Diabetic individuals using chromium should closely monitor blood sugar levels and consult with their doctors to ascertain the appropriate dose as the recommended daily amount of chromium increases with age. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the mineral for all usage applications.
Side effects for chromium picolinate are rare but can include headache, sleeplessness and anxiety, cautions WebMD. Individuals with liver or kidney conditions should not take chromium because reports exist that document organ damage when used in such cases. Because chromium picolinate is unregulated and often categorized as herbal supplement, the risk of contamination is present, thus consumers should purchase their supplements from reliable manufacturers, notes Drugs.com.