Best Chromium Supplements

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best chromium supplements

Last Updated October 2019

Chromium is a trace mineral that’s present in our food and considered essential by many nutrition experts for the healthy functioning of the body. Most people get enough chromium by literally eating their broccoli. However, if you’re suffering from diabetes or trying to lose weight, there are well-researched benefits to taking a chromium supplement in addition to eating a balanced diet. Chromium may also be beneficial to heart and brain health and is used by some alternative healthcare practitioners to treat other health conditions.

If you’re not sure what kind of chromium supplement is right for you, we’re here to help you figure that out. Our shopping guide can help you decipher recommended doses of chromium as well as some of its uses. Be sure to check out our top-choice chromium supplement selections from brands and formulas that stand out.

Chromium is a micronutrient that helps the body handle glucose and insulin and process carbohydrates.

Types of chromium

Chromium comes in a few forms. Some are safe to ingest and others are not.

Trivalent chromium (chromium 3+) is a safe form of chromium that’s found in food. Chromium is a metal that’s stored in soil and rocks, and that ends up in our crops. It’s naturally present in whole foods like brewer’s yeast, some types of meat, potatoes, vegetables, and whole grains like wheat. Tap water also contains trace amounts of chromium.

Hexavalent chromium (chromium 6+) is a chemical that’s used in industrial applications and is toxic to humans.

Chromium picolinate is a mineral form of chromium attached to three molecules of picolinic acid. This makes it better absorbed by the intestines than trivalent chromium. Chromium picolinate is the form of chromium used in most chromium supplements, as well as polynicotinate and chromium chelate.

Chromium supplements come in capsule and tablet form. Multivitamins can also contain chromium; the general dosage is 200 mcg. 

EXPERT TIP

Studies show that supplementing with chromium may be beneficial for people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.


Staff  | BestReviews

How much chromium do I need?

The average woman in the U.S. consumes 23 to 29 micrograms (mcg) of chromium through daily food intake. The average adult man in the U.S. consumes between 39 to 54 mcg a day. It is recommended for adult women between 19 and 50 to take 25 mcg daily. Adult men in that age bracket should take 35 mcg daily.

Chromium supplements come in much higher does than the daily recommended amount. Expect to see capsules starting at 200 mcg and going up to 1,000 mcg. While chromium deficiencies are rare, people with diabetes and elderly people are more likely to have a deficiency.

Symptoms of chromium deficiency include the following.

  • Fatigue
  • Poor glucose control
  • Poor skin health
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Weakening of bones, including bone loss
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Mood changes, especially an increase in anxiety
  • Delay in wound healing
  • Worsening eyesight

Health benefits of chromium

While most adults don’t need to supplement with chromium because they’re getting enough in their food, supplementation may benefit certain populations. Here are some of the benefits to your health you may experience when supplementing with chromium.

Improved blood sugar levels

Several studies suggest that taking a chromium supplement (200 mcg) can improve blood sugar levels in diabetics. It has also been shown to lower insulin and improve the body’s response to insulin.

Reduced hunger and cravings

If you’re trying to lose weight, taking a chromium supplement (1,000 mcg) may help curb food cravings, according to a study of overweight but otherwise healthy women. In another study, it was found that doses of 600 to 1,000 mcg of chromium a day reduced binge eating.

Prevention of cognitive decline

Because chromium can improve insulin response, it may help with brain function, which is impacted by insulin. Especially in aging adults, a chromium supplement may help maintain cognitive function and keep the hypothalamus “more youthful.” 

Enhanced metabolism and energy

It’s important to get a lot of trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and chromium, especially if you exercise. Active folks need these micronutrients to keep their metabolism going strong.

Possible bone loss prevention

Chromium slows down calcium loss, which may help prevent bone loss.

Other reported health benefits of taking a chromium supplement include lowered blood cholesterol, an improvement in acne and other skin conditions related to imbalanced blood sugar levels, protection against age-related eye disorders like glaucoma, enhanced heart recovery after a heart attack, and mood regulation.

Some studies show that chromium supplementation may help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by improving blood sugar control.

Chromium supplement features

Niacin-bound chromium may enhance its bioavailability (the ability of the body to absorb it). Niacin is another name for vitamin B3.

Cinnamon as an added ingredient to chromium supplements is another natural way to improve insulin sensitivity.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, and non-GMO chromium supplements are for those who are conscientious about their health and don’t consume wheat, gluten, dairy, or GMO products.

Vegan/vegetarian capsules aren’t made with any animal byproducts, like gelatin, and are usually cellulose based. 

Chromium supplement prices

Chromium capsules come in various quantities. You may choose to buy a bottle with 60, 90, 120, 180, or 250 pieces.

At the low-end of the price spectrum, expect to pay as little as $9 for a bottle of 250 pieces and up to $13 for a bottle of 120 to 180 pieces.

Mid-priced chromium supplements range from $14 to $20. These generally have a lower pill count than cheaper brands — usually 60 or 90 — but a higher-quality formula.

For the purest quality of chromium, expect to pay upwards of $20. These formulas tend to be free of fillers and additives, though you can also find less-expensive products that make this claim.

DID YOU KNOW?

Broccoli is a high natural source of chromium, with 22 mcg of the micronutrient in one cooked cup.

Tips

  • If you have food allergies or other sensitivities, look for a hypoallergenic chromium supplement.
  • Because blood sugar is affected by chromium, consult with your doctor before taking if you have diabetes or PCOS.
  • Most chromium supplements can be taken with or without food. If the supplement upsets your stomach, take it with meals.
  • Don’t take chromium supplements if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant, unless under the advice of a doctor.
  • Start slow when beginning a chromium supplement to avoid side effects. Take less than the recommended dose, and gradually build up over the course of days or weeks.

Other products we considered

For an ultra-pure chromium supplement with added B3 for absorption, we love Superior Labs’ Pure Chromium Polynicotinate Supplement. Superior Labs passed stringent NSF manufacturing standards, and these 200mcg capsules contain zero fillers, heavy metals, and unnecessary additives. What’s more, the brand offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

If you’re in the market for a tablet form of chromium and want a bargain, consider Nature’s Bounty Mega Chromium Picolinate 800mcg Tablets. For the price of one inexpensive bottle, you’ll receive a three-pack of potent pills with a high chromium picolinate content. The tablets are safe for vegetarians. 

Chromium is an essential trace mineral. That means that just a small amount, often in microgram measurements, is needed by the body.

FAQ

Q. What are some foods I can eat to get chromium?
A. 
Green beans, broccoli, potatoes, grapes and grape juice, apples, and bananas are all good chromium sources. In addition, you can get some chromium from whole grain products, dairy products, and beef and poultry. 

Q. Are there any risks associated with taking chromium?
A.
Taking a chromium supplement may cause or contribute to headaches, irregular heartbeat, and problems with mood or sleep. The liver or kidneys may also be negatively affected. Chromium supplements may interact poorly with certain medications, including thyroid medicine, some painkillers, insulin, and antacids.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ana
    Ana
    Writer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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