Chromium Picolinate has been used in slimming pills for decades, but it remains controversial. Chromium is a mineral required by humans in trace amounts, found in whole grains, processed meats, and cheese among other things. In 1959 it was first identified as essential for the hormone insulin to function properly. Since then, Chromium has been a popular dietary supplement often taken to help weight loss. Research is contradictory, but some does show that it may help control blood sugar levels and reduce insulin levels, which in turn increases fat burning ability.
Ill effects: A 1995 study generated some controversy showing that very high doses of Chromium picolinate caused genetic damage to hamster cells. However, in 2004 the Institute of Medicine reviewed the safety of chromium picolinate and found that taking established, low levels of the substance (up to 1.6 mg per day for three to six months) was safe. However, there is little information on the dangers of taking high doses or long-term use, with anecdotal reports of liver or kidney damage from taking large doses, so people should be wary, and seek medical advice.
There are some concerns that chromium picolinate may interfere with diabetes medication, and it should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women. It may also affect neurotransmitter levels, which is a concern for people with various mental conditions. Again, you should read the label carefully and take medical advice.
Prices: Chromium is available from many brands and sources--this one at Amazon is a bioavailable version which is allegedly 25 times more absorbed than the inorganic chromium in most other supplements. For this reason it is priced higher than other Chromiums, at £17.08 for 90 tablets, so a month's supply comes out to £5.69.