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What is chromium used for?

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Quick Answer

Chromium supplements are used to improve cholesterol levels and help regulate blood sugar levels by optimizing the body's use of insulin, states WebMD. Chromium may also treat depression and polycystic ovary syndrome. Some people use chromium to improve athletic performance, decrease body fat and increase muscle mass and energy.

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Full Answer

Very small amounts of chromium are needed to maintain human health, according to WebMD. It is considered likely safe for adults to take up to 1,000 micrograms of chromium daily for six months and possibly safe if taken for a longer period of time. Chromium supplements are not recommended for people with kidney or liver disease. Because chromium can lower blood sugar levels, people with diabetes are advised to monitor their blood glucose closely while taking chromium.

It is possible for chromium to change the chemistry in the brain, so people with psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia should pay careful attention to any changes in behavior or mood. Some people experience side effects while taking chromium supplements, including skin irritation; headache; dizziness; nausea; mood changes; and impaired thinking, judgment and coordination, explains WebMD. More serious problems, including blood disorders and liver or kidney damage, have been associated with high doses of chromium.

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