A review of recent studies on the safety of chromium picolinate was presented on Wednesday by Ronald Slesinski, the president-elect of the regulatory and safety specialty section of the society, at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conference on metal toxicity and carcinogenesis.
"The safety research overwhelmingly confirms that Chromax chromium picolinate is a safe nutritional supplement," said Dr. Slesinski. "Research studies conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Toxicology Program (NTP) and at independent testing laboratories, show no evidence of genetic toxicity."
Dr. Slesinski also addressed findings from two previous laboratory studies alleging adverse effects on hamster cells exposed to chromium picolinate.
"The new studies showed that comparative or higher doses of Chromax chromium picolinate produced no adverse effects in these same tests," said Dr. Slesinski. "Chromax chromium picolinate has never been shown to be mutagenic in animals or to produce damage to genetic material (DNA) in humans when ingested, at any dose."
Chromax chromium picolinate is manufactured by Nutrition 21, which has focused closely on the ability of this supplement to help diabetes' sufferers.
The company is currently carrying out several studies, including one looking at the effect of chromium picolinate on type two diabetes - the results of which are expected at the end of this year - and one investigating the treatment of depression with the supplement, whose interim results were reported by NutraIngredientsUSA in June. The company is also planning further trials looking at diabetes and exercise, and insulin resistance in the near future.
Nutrition 21 is presently awaiting a decision by the US government as to whether the FDA will award a health claim to chromium picolinate in the prevention of diabetes. This decision should be made sometime in November, but James Komorowski, vice president of scientific affairs and technical services, said that said that feedback from the public comment period had been favourable.
There are an estimated 18.2 million people in the United States who have diabetes, putting them at high risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke, blindness, nerve damage, kidney damage and foot complications resulting from poor blood flow.