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What is chromium picolinate and who should use it?

Chromium picolinate is a very popular nutritionalsupplement, which consists of chromium and picolinic acid. This supplement issaid to be very effective in lowering blood sugar, particularly in those who sufferfrom type 2 diabetes, as well as in losing weight and even in treating depressionand polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, the fact is that it simply helps in betterabsorption of chromium. The mechanism of action is not very clear, but accordingto some, it improves the insulin efficiency, thus increasing the serotoninproduction, and reduction of the appetite consequently. It is no wonder that itis becoming more and more popular as a weight reduction supplement.

How safe is it and are there any side effects?

As for its safety, even though so far it has not beenexplored enough, it is well known that as long as people take it in lowerdosages, it should not cause any side effects. The adverse effects tend toappear when chromium picolinate is taken in increased doses, which is why it isnecessary to stick to the recommended doses. This is particularly important tobear in mind, since it is available over-the-counter, and practically to everyone.

The most frequently reported side effects include headaches,irritability, vomiting and diarrhea and sleeping problems or insomnia. Still, none of these problems are too serious, which does not meanthat such side effects do not exist or are impossible. On the contrary, problemssuch as blood in the stool, vomiting blood, anemia, kidney damage, various liverproblems and even seizures have also been reported, though they are muchrarer. It is also important to check if a person is allergic to this supplementbefore taking it, in order to avoid problems that may be very serious too.

Besides this, it is not safe to combine chromium picolinate withmedications such as antacids, corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,vitamin C, iron, zinc and medications for diabetes. People who suffer fromdiabetes, kidney or liver disorders of any kind, mental illness, or allergy, aswell as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their doctorbefore adding this supplement to their diet, because complications or worseningof the existing symptoms are not excluded in such cases either. For the end, people who are about to give it a chance, shouldknow that it is possible of experience a chromium picolinate overdose and thesigns that indicate it, include bleeding in the digestive tract, confusion,problems with concentration, damage of the liver or kidneys.

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