Comparison of acute absorption of commercially available chromium supplements

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2007;21(2):120-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2007.01.004. Epub 2007 Mar 19.


Chromium (Cr) supplements are available as picolinate, nicotinate or chloride (the latter primarily in multivitamin-mineral supplements). The picolinate form has been reported to be the best absorbed and most efficacious, but some reports question which form has superior absorption. The present study examined acute Cr absorption, based on 24h urinary Cr values, for picolinate, two types of nicotinate, and chloride in young adult, non-overweight females. College-aged women were given 200 microg of Cr as each of the four supplement types in random order accompanied by a small standardized meal, separated by at least a week washout. Cr picolinate produced significantly higher 24h urinary Cr than either of two nicotinate supplements or Cr chloride given in a multivitamin-mineral supplement. This difference was seen for absolute values of the urinary Cr and for percent increases. In conclusion, based on an indirect measure of acute absorption, Cr picolinate was superior to three other Cr complexes commonly sold as supplements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromium Compounds* / administration & dosage
  • Chromium Compounds* / chemistry
  • Chromium Compounds* / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*


  • Chromium Compounds