Should you quit taking chromium supplements? Can they cause cancer?

This is a study that you should really be paying close attention to if you are taking chromium for weight as many of us are.

A lot of times, these studies come out of thin air and don’t make much sense.

In this case, the study makes a lot of sense, because it builds on prior studies. And because the mechanism that it uses to explain how chromium causes cancer makes a lot of sense.

Chromium is poisonous in any quantities at all.

The supplemental amounts of chromium are very small.

But it is also true that people who have environmental chromium oftentimes have much higher incidences of cancer.

It’s also a fact that something like chromium that is often poisonous, is something you may want to get from food, rather than a supplement, as you need only minute quantities.

Studies like this are also an argument against taking a lot of supplements in the first place and trying to get as much as you can from food.

In this study, they have found that chromium supplements become carcinogenic inside fat cells. And they even say that

These results strongly support the hypothesis that the antidiabetic activity of [chromium] and the carcinogenicity …arise from similar mechanisms…and highlight concerns over the safety of [chromium nutritional supplements.

 This is not the first study to show dangers of chromium

This is one of many studies that show chromium causes damage to the DNA.

They found that chromium…

does bind to DNA, leading to a decrease in the fidelity ..which may ultimately lead to increased mutations

Although I personally don’t believe cancer is caused by mutations necessarily, the fact is that there are now several studies loud and clear that demonstrate chromium supplements can cause cancer.

How to get chromium naturally, without supplementation

It is possible that you may still want to continue taking chromium, often in the form of chromium picolinate, knowing that they can increase the chances of getting cancer.

But to me, it’s pretty clear that we don’t want to be taking chromium supplements on any regular basis.

And so what foods can you eat that have chromium in them?

Remember, you need about 20 µg to 30 µg of chromium per day.

You can get chromium from these foods among others:

Chromium is a pollutant found in high amounts in seafood, especially shrimp, clams, oysters, and mussels.

And to some extent, in fish.

It’s not clear that the type of chromium in seafood is really the type that’s fully metabolizable.

I would try to get my chromium more from vegetable sources and leave it at that.


Chromium supplements causing cancer

Gene toxicity of chromium

Chromium fact sheet

Click for more information on Chromium supplements, for Vitamins information, or for information about Toxicity of chromium.