A pilot scale study was done on 622 women who were obese. "We want to make sure that consumers do not misinterpret this data," he tells WebMD. Learn about chromium, exposure to which can increase your risk of lung cancer and cancer of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. A few studies have even suggested that very high chromium levels can cause DNA damage and may cause cancer. We are looking at the potential, at a chemical level, if it is possible that [chromium picolinate] is a mutagen, and the answer is yes." Such events are known, in some cases, to cause genetic mutations and cancer in humans, the researchers noted. "Simple chromium compounds don't do this," says Vincent. New Treatments That May Change the Game, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. It is used to prevent chromium deficiency, which may develop as a result of poor diet, stress and aging. Conclusions. "Those doses are so high, she had to use acetone to get the chromium picolinate to go into solution, so you're using a toxic agent and mixing it with a huge dose of chromium picolinate and exposing it directly to ovary cells. These medicines are called oral medicines. Other novel chromium compounds also have improved bioavailability (40) (41) . This research has been peer-reviewed and will soon appear in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. Vincent found that chromium picolinate reacts with common biochemicals, like vitamin C. He says the products "can then catalyze a reaction with oxygen to generate the potent DNA-damaging hydroxyl radical." The demand for chromium pills -- often sold in the form of chromium picolinate -- is based on a simple and common premise: The mineral supposedly helps build muscle and burn fat. It also has been suggested that the supplement reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and the symptoms of diabetes. Chromium picolinate and weight loss. New Device Detects Which Hand Gesture You Want to Make, Key Advance for Printing Circuitry on Wearable Fabrics, Luminescent Wood Could Light Up Homes of the Future, Research Lays Groundwork for Ultra-Thin, Energy Efficient Photodetector on Glass. It often is an ingredient in products ranging from sports drinks and gum to pills. It plays a role in how your body breaks down fats and carbohydrates. American Chemical Society. "Mutations in certain genes may lead to cancer. ScienceDaily. Dec. 11, 2001 -- A popular nutritional supplement, chromium picolinate, has been touted as a fix for weight loss and muscle growth, a potion to help you lose body fat. Nutrition 21 has conducted "numerous clinical studies involving over 3,000 subjects -- in studies between three months and one year in duration -- and there have been absolutely no side effects," Komorowski tells WebMD. Chemists from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, presented findings here today at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, which they say show chromium(III) tris(picolinate) causes DNA breakage. ScienceDaily. When combined with picolinic acid, it is referred to as chromium picolinate and is sold as a nutritional supplement. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments, Closer to a Cancer Cure? As a weight loss supplement chromium picolinate may be effective, yet there are some potential drawbacks including a cancer risk. (NCI04) The health claims for chromium are based on its status as an essential human nutrient required for normal carbohydrate and fat metabolism. gland was greater in male rats receiving 10,000 ppm chromium picolinate than in the control group. I had breast cancer five years ago with a resulting mastectomy. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. (1999, March 24). Materials provided by American Chemical Society. 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", Stearns found that 58 of 1 million cells had DNA damage, Komorowski points out. All rights reserved. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. However, there may be potential risks in the higher dosages of chromium (see Safety Issues). Most trials used chromium picolinate, and others used chromium-enriched yeast or chromium nicotinate. Furthermore, University of Alabama chemists John B. Vincent, Ph.D., and Stephen A. Woski, Ph.D., say their laboratory has found the compound is remarkably stable and unaffected by water, buffers, or blood serum proteins. Given that in vitro studies suggest that other forms of chromium used as nutritional supplements, such as chromium chloride, are unlikely to be susceptible to generating this type of oxidative damage, the use of these compounds, rather than Cr(pic)(3), would appear warranted. Within two weeks, the patient showed distinct improvement in signs and symptoms, blood sugar levels improved and insulin requirements were greatly reduced. One form, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. When Chromium Picolinate is taken as a dietary supplement with Vitamin C supplements, it caused genetic damage to laboratory hamsters. These and many other studies implicated chromium as a critical cofactor in insulin actioâ¦ Participants taking chromium supplements lost significantly more weight, 0.75 kg, than those taking placebo and also had a significant 0.40 kg/m 2 reduction in BMI and body fat percentage, 0.68%, in comparison with placebo. "Our first study showed chromosome damage, and our second study has taken it one step further by showing that this damage leads to mutations," she says in a news release. Chromium (in the form chromium picolinate or CrPic) has been associated with a reduction in the risk for obesity, less weight gain and may positively affect food intake. In her study, Stearns exposed live hamster ovary cells to high dosages chromium picolinate and found a high incidence of mutated cells. "There are studies that can be used to determine if a substance is toxic or not, and Nutrition 21 has done those studies, and chromium picolinate has been shown completely safe," he tells WebMD. "Careful investigation into the effects of long-term diet supplementation with chromium picolinate are needed to evaluate its mutagenic and carcinogenic potentials. In addition, development of other readily absorbable sources of chromium that lack the DNA-damaging ability of chromium picolinate seems warranted.". "We are currently determining the actual type of DNA damage that causes the mutations in order to better understand the relevance of our results to humans who are taking these supplements.". A study led by the universities of Sydney and NSW has shown that living cells convert chromium III, a naturally occurring element used as a weight loss and type-2 diabetes treatment, into its âcarcinogenic cousinâ â hexavalent chromium, the industrial pollutant made notorious by the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich and a 2011 chemical spill near Newcastle. "Also, it is known that chromium can accumulate in the body; therefore, we caution against taking excessive doses of chromium picolinate for long periods of time. Research on the benefits of chromium to enhance fat loss and increase performance in bodybuilders and athletes has provided mixed results. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Chromium picolinate works together with insulin produced by the pancreas to metabolize carbohydrates. Chromium picolinate is an organic compound of trivalent chromium and picolinic acid, a naturally occurring derivative of tryptophan. I have started taking chromium picolinate to help normalize my blood sugar, and it has been helping to keep it in the normal range, if I watch my diet. But one chromium manufacturer says it has conducted extensive human tests. Animal studies suggest that chromium picolinate may be carcinogenic, it enters cells directly and can causes mutations. "They say her studies are 'extremely questionable.'". Glucose tolerance factor chromium, more commonly called chromium GTF, is a mineral that is frequently used in bodybuilding, athletic and weight-loss supplements. "Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk." Nutrition 21's studies have focused on weight loss, cholesterol, and diabetes. And the issue is created with very little effort. Supplemental doses of these agents may need to be adjusted, reduced, or omitted in patients with renal dysfunction. P2. American Chemical Society. Her work further showed that, once inside those laboratory cells, it appeared to induce cleavage of chromosomal DNA. Found in vitamins and mineral supplements, Chromium may be necessary for utilization of dietary sugars and carbohydrates by optimizing the effects of insulin. Animal tissue studies like Stearns' "cannot be used to conclude that something causes cancer, " says Komorowski. The dosage of chromium used in studies ranges from 200 mcg to 1,000 mcg daily, mostly in the form of chromium picolinate. ", The current findings are "more indicative" of this cancer-causing potential, Stearns says. ", The doses are indeed "over 50,000 times higher than the level of chromium a human would have in their blood," counters Komorowski. "They have to have ligands -- something that binds to chromium -- that make the properties just right and picolinate is one of those ligands.". Chromium picolinate is a supplemental form of chromium said to improve nutrient metabolism and promote weight loss. "Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk." This was due to concerns raised by the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals that chromium(III) picolinate might be genotoxic (cause cancer). Chromium is a trace mineral found in two main forms, trivalent chromium (III) and hexavalent chromium (VI). Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Chromium picolinate has been used in alternative medicine to treat chromium deficiency, as an aid to controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes or prediabetes, to lower cholesterol, and as a weight-loss supplement. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. A safety paper published by the USDA comments on animal cell studies like Stearns,' citing "that one cannot extrapolate from a hamster tissue culture what could happen in humans," says Komorowski. Until now, though, there was no solid explanation for just how chromium picolinate caused the damage. The USDA toxicity studies also used extremely high doses chromium "but found absolutely no damage and concluded that chromium picolinate was safe," he says. My doctor has not put me on medication for my diabetes at this time. Hexavalent chromium compounds have been used as corrosion inhibitors in a wide variety of products and processes. What oral medicines treat type 2 diabetes? Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Reason #2 why chromium polynicotinate was mentioned by Dr Oz may have to do with some controversial research in the 1990s that hinted that high doses chromium picolinate might damage DNA. You can take numerous diabetes medications by mouth. ANAHEIM, Calif., March 23 --New evidence has been reported that a popular nutritional and dietary supplement, called chromium picolinate, may be a cancer risk. These obese individuals were given about 1000 Î¼g/day of chromium picolinate for 12 â 16 weeks. In theory, this might mean chromium picolinate might cause cancer. A recent USDA study fed rats a diet rich in the compound for 24 weeks and did not see any ill effects. The picolinic form increases Cr absorption from the GI tract, although this remains quite low, around 3%. Chromium is marketed as a protection against Type 2 diabetes and as a so-called "sugar balance" pill to help weight loss. Chromium is also a hugely popular dietary supplement -- and not because the nation has developed a sudden mania for well-controlled blood sugar. Chronic inhalation of chromium-6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer and â¦ The Alabama studies advance the work of the late Dartmouth University chemist Karen Wetterhahn, Ph.D., who died from a widely publicized mercury-poisoning accident. We conclude that chromium picolinate did not cause cancer in female rats Still, chromium's role in these processes is not well understood. Chromium is believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats.1ï»¿ It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. I learned to do my research and not just rely on doctors alone. The hamster cell study, published in the journal Mutation Research, builds on studies dating to 1995, according to lead author Diane Stearns, assistant professor of biochemistry at Northern Arizona University. Indeed, when Vincent added "physiologically relevant concentrations" of chromium picolinate to laboratory solutions of DNA, much of the DNA was broken, he said. Popular Diet Supplement May Be A Cancer Risk. Chromium Picolinate Cancer. 18.104.22.168 Chromium Picolinate.
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