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September 16, 2002

Alternative Therapies and Explanations

Question from Greensboro, North Carolina, USA:

There seem to be conflicting reports about the safety and effectiveness of chromium picolinate. Is this a beneficial supplement to add to one's diet? How does it benefit people who have diabetes and people who don't? What are considered safe/effective doses? What are the potential dangers to this supplement?


My opinion is that the data on chromium are not good enough to universally recommend it. The only efficacious study I have seen was reported initially at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Session in 1996 in San Francisco. However, the dose used was high enough to worry about long-term toxicity. I have no strong feelings that this nutritional supplement should be universally taken by people with or without diabetes.


[Editor’s comment: See our discussion about chromium.