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All about: Chromic Chloride

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Chroma-Pak 1

Note:

For quick reference, the following chromium supplements are numbered to match the corresponding brand name.

This information applies to the following:
1. Chromic Chloride (KROME-ik KLOR-ide)
2. Chromium (KROH-mee-um)§
† Not commercially available in Canada
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
§ Generic name product may be available in Canada

Category

  • Nutritional supplement, mineral—Chromic Chloride; Chromium

Description

Chromium supplements are used to prevent or treat chromium deficiency.

The body needs chromium for normal growth and health. For patients who are unable to get enough chromium in their regular diet or who have a need for more chromium, chromium supplements may be necessary. They are generally taken by mouth but some patients may have to receive them by injection. Chromium helps your body use sugar properly. It is also needed for the breakdown of proteins and fats.

Lack of chromium may lead to nerve problems and may decrease the body's ability to use sugar properly.

There is not enough evidence to show that taking chromium supplements improves the way your body uses sugar (glucose tolerance).

Injectable chromium is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Other forms are available without a prescription.

Chromium supplements are available in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Chromium
    • Capsules (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Parenteral
  • Chromic Chloride
    • Injection (U.S.)

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Chromium is found in various foods, including brewer's yeast, calf liver, American cheese, and wheat germ.

The daily amount of chromium needed is defined in several different ways.

  • For U.S.—
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
  • For Canada—
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Because a lack of chromium is rare, there is no RDA or RNI for it. Normal daily recommended intakes for chromium are generally defined as follows:

  • Infants and children—
    • Birth to 3 years of age: 10 to 80 micrograms (mcg) a day.
    • 4 to 6 years of age: 30 to 120 mcg a day.
    • 7 to 10 years of age: 50 to 200 mcg a day.
  • Adolescents and adults—50 to 200 mcg a day.

Before Using This Dietary Supplement

If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For chromium, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your health care professional if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to chromium. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement during pregnancy may be harmful to the mother and/or fetus and should be avoided.

Breast-feeding—It is important that you receive the right amounts of vitamins and minerals so that your baby will also get the vitamins and minerals needed to grow properly. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement while breast-feeding may be harmful to the mother and/or baby and should be avoided.

Children—Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Older adults—Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Medicines or other dietary supplements—Although certain medicines or dietary supplements should not be used together at all, in other cases they may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your health care professional may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other dietary supplement or any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of chromium. Make sure you tell your health care professional if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus—Taking chromium supplements when you have a chromium deficiency may cause a change in the amount of insulin you need

Proper Use of This Dietary Supplement

Dosing—The amount of chromium needed to meet normal daily recommended intakes will be different for different individuals. The following information includes only the average amounts of chromium.

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules and tablets):
    • To prevent deficiency, the amount taken by mouth is based on normal daily recommended intakes:
      • Adults and teenagers—50 to 200 micrograms (mcg) per day.
      • Children 7 to 10 years age—50 to 200 mcg per day.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—30 to 120 mcg per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—10 to 80 mcg per day.
    • To treat deficiency:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—Treatment dose is determined by prescriber for each individual based on severity of deficiency.

Missed dose—If you miss taking chromium supplements for one or more days there is no cause for concern, since it takes some time for your body to become seriously low in chromium. However, if your health care professional has recommended that you take chromium, try to remember to take it as directed every day.

Storage—To store this dietary supplement:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the dietary supplement to break down.
  • Keep the dietary supplement from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep outdated dietary supplements or those no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded dietary supplement is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Dietary Supplement

No side effects or overdoses have been reported for chromium. However, check with your health care professional if you notice any unusual effects while you are taking it.

Revised: 05/26/1995

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