Chromium sans Brockovich (S2E11)

In the popular movie Erin Brockovich, we get to hear about the toxic effects of the hexavalent form of chromium (aka Cr6+). However, in its trivalent oxidation state (Cr3+) as Chromium picolinate is a very useful mineral supplement, which is influential in treating diabetes, bipolar disorder, depression, reactive hypoglycemia and polycystic ovary syndrome. As part of the molecule known as Glucose Tolerance Factor or GTF, chromium strengthens the action of insulin in controlling blood sugar.

Skeletal formula of chromium(III) picolinate(Chromium III Picolinate structure)

Dietary Sources of Chromium:

Main sources in our diet come from whole grains, eggs and brewers yeast. However, in our modern, highly processed diet of refined grains, our chromium consumption is low. In addition, sugar consumption can increase it’s excretion through urine by as much as 300%. As I mentioned in episode 9 this season on Reactive Hypoglycemia, when blood sugar is erratic and poorly controlled, mood disturbances ranging from irritability to depression are common. Chromium levels are one of the control switches responsible for regulating blood sugar.


Although high in chromium, brewers yeast is not the supplement of choice in those with candida and other yeast overgrowth. Lowering both refined carbohydrate in addition to supplementing with chromium picolinate in dosage ranges between 200-2000 micrograms/day are the preferred methods.


Tune in next episode when we’ll talk about the benefits of manganese.


Be Well and Be Zen



Gaby., Manganese., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., Ch. 35., pp. 169-72, ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH. 

Atkins, R. (1998). Dr. Atkins Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature’s answer to drugs., pp. 145-48. ISBN0-684-81849-3. Simon & Shuster Publishing Inc., New York.





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