Chromium (Cr) Dosing and Safety

safety

Allergies

Avoid in people with a known allergy or sensitivity to chromium. People with allergies to chromate or leather may be more likely to have allergic reactions to chromium.
Allergic skin reactions may occur from handling chromium or from chromium found in medical devices.

Side Effects and Warnings

Chromium is likely safe when taken by mouth in healthy adults in amounts of 50-200 micrograms daily (or when following adequate intake recommendations). Chromium is safe in amounts naturally found in foods.
Chromium is possibly safe when taken by mouth in suggested doses during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Chromium may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood and the intended effects may be changed. Patients taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Chromium may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes, low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Chromium may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
Use cautiously in people with heart disease, kidney or liver disease, behavioral problems, iron deficiency, or mental disorders.
Use cautiously in people using iron, thyroid hormones, agents for Parkinson's disease and antidepressants. People taking levothyroxine and chromium picolinate should separate taking chromium from thyroid hormones by several hours.
Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to chromium.
The hexavalent form of chromium is toxic. Reported side effects to hexavalent chromium include asthma, cough, headache, lung cancer, lung disease, mucus, punctured cartilage between the two nostrils, runny nose, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Reported side effects to trivalent chromium found in supplements include abnormal liver function, agitation, altered immune function, anemia, confusion, constipation, damage to blood cells, diarrhea, difficulty driving, disrupted menstrual cycle, dizziness, drowsiness, elevated blood urea nitrogen levels, gas, headache, hives, increased dreaming, increased risk of drug adverse reactions, insomnia, irregular heart rhythm, kidney disease and failure, leg pain, liver damage, liver inflammation, low platelets, mood changes, muscle damage, nausea, pain, skin inflammation, skin rashes, skin tingling, sleep disturbances, slowed thought processes, stomach problems, ulcers, and vomiting.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women in amounts greater than those found in the diet due to a lack of study regarding safety.
Adequate intake for breastfeeding women was suggested to be 44-45 micrograms daily taken by mouth.

dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

A reference daily intake (RDI) for chromium is lacking; the optimal daily allowance (ODA) is 200-600 micrograms daily. Adequate dietary intake of chromium in the United States is 50-200 micrograms daily.
For bipolar disorder, 600-800 micrograms of chromium has been taken by mouth daily for up to two years.
For bone loss in postmenopausal women, 400 micrograms of chromium has been taken by mouth daily for 60 days.
For cancer (lung), 296-370 megabecquerels per 10 milliliters of (32)p-chromic phosphate have been injected into fat and connective tissue near the lungs.
For mental performance, 1,000 micrograms of elemental chromium as chromium picolinate has been taken by mouth daily for 12 weeks.
For depression, 400-600 micrograms daily of elemental chromium as chromium picolinate has been taken by mouth for 2-6 weeks.
For type 2 diabetes, 14-1400 micrograms chromium has been taken by mouth 1-3 times daily for six weeks to 16 months as chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, or chromium dinicocysteinate in tablets, capsules, brewer's yeast, or milk powder.
For high blood sugar or glucose intolerance related to Turner's syndrome, 30 grams of brewer's yeast containing 50 micrograms of chromium has been taken by mouth daily for eight weeks.
For insulin resistance in HIV, 200-1000 micrograms of chromium nicotinate or picolinate has been taken by mouth once or twice daily for 8-16 weeks.
For high cholesterol, 5-1,000 micrograms of chromium has been taken by mouth daily for 2-4 months (sometimes in the form of brewer's yeast).
For low blood sugar, 125-200 micrograms of chromium has been taken by mouth daily for three months.
For immune function, 200 micrograms of chromium has been taken by mouth daily in two divided doses for 12 weeks.
For metabolic syndrome, 500 micrograms of chromium picolinate has been taken by mouth twice daily with water for 16 weeks.
For weight loss, 188-1,000 micrograms chromium picolinate, niacin-bound chromium, or chromium polynicotinate has been taken by mouth daily for four weeks to six months.
For polycystic ovary syndrome, 200-1,000 micrograms of chromium picolinate has been taken by mouth daily for up to four months.
For schizophrenia, 400 micrograms of chromium picolinate has been given by mouth in addition to usual antipsychotic medications for three months.

Children (under 18 years old)

High doses of chromium should be avoided due to a lack of research. Adequate chromium intake by mouth for children ages 0-6 months old is 0.2 micrograms daily; for 7-12 months old: 5.5 micrograms daily; for 1-3 years old: 11 micrograms daily; for 4-8 years old: 15 micrograms daily; for 9-13 years old: 21-25 micrograms daily; and for 14-18 years old: 24-35 micrograms daily.
For weight loss, 400 micrograms of chromium chloride has been taken by mouth daily for six weeks.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Chromium may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using drugs that may lower blood sugar levels. People taking oral drugs for diabetes or using insulin should be monitored closely by a healthcare professional while using chromium. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Chromium may decrease blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking medications that alter blood pressure.
Chromium may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood and the intended effects may be changed. Patients taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Chromium may also interact with agents for bone loss, agents for the stomach or intestines, agents that affect blood clotting, agents that affect the immune system or the nervous system, alcohol, antacids, aspirin, antidepressant agents, anti-inflammatories, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, cancer agents, cholesterol agents, corticosteroids, dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), H2 blockers, heavy metal antagonists/chelating agents, insulin, lithium, nicotinic acid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Parkinson's agents, proton pump inhibitors, sulfonylureas, thyroid agents, and weight loss agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Chromium may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may lower blood sugar levels. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Chromium may decrease blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that alter blood pressure.
Chromium may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may be altered in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
Chromium may also interact with alcohol, antacids, antidepressant herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatories, antipsychotics, biotin, calcium, cancer herbs and supplements, cholesterol herbs and supplements, copper, corticosteroids, grapeseed, herbs and supplements for bone loss, herbs and supplements for the stomach or intestines, herbs and supplements that affect blood clotting, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system or the nervous system, heavy metal antagonists/chelating herbs and supplements, iron, nicotinic acid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Parkinson's herbs and supplements, salicylates, sulfonylureas, thyroid herbs and supplements, vitamins C and E, weight loss herbs and supplements, and zinc.