Chromium is a trace element and an essential cofactor for the hormone insulin which regulates the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
. Supplementation of chromium picolinate may aid body fat loss, retain and build lean body mass, lower elevated blood sugar, and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Chromium's effect on animals is being studied both for weight loss and regulation of glucose in diabetics. Chromium may be helpful in diabetic animals (especially cats) that are difficult to regulate on insulin. In humans with diabetes mellitus, chromium has increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin requirements, and decreased the need for some diabetic medications.
Chromium is found in cheese, prunes, shredded wheat cereal, raw peanuts, peanut butter, raw mushrooms, thyme, corn, and peas.
Excess chromium is thought to be excreted in the urine. Kidney disease has been noted in a small number of people who have used over the counter chromium picolinate supplements.
Picolinate is bound to the chromium to increase the absorption of chromium in the digestive system.