The Food Standards Agency has revised its advice on the safety of chromium picolinate supplements. It is no longer advising people to avoid this type of chromium.
In 2003, the report of the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals (EVM) noted that there was some evidence suggesting that chromium picolinate might be genotoxic, which means that it could damage DNA. Damage to DNA can ultimately lead to cancer. In the light of this, the Food Standards Agency advised consumers who wished to take chromium supplements to use other types of chromium until specialist advice had been received from the Committee on Mutagenicity (COM).
The COM reviewed the genotoxicity of chromium and chromium picolinate and recommended some further research. On the basis of the results from this research, which COM received in November 2004, the Committee concluded that the balance of the evidence suggested that chromium picolinate was not genotoxic.
The FSA advises that most people can get the chromium they need from a healthy, balanced diet. For those people who wish to supplement their diet with chromium, the maximum upper level recommended by the EVM is 10 mg a day. There is no need to avoid chromium picolinate.
The Agency bases its advice on the balance of available scientific evidence. It will be keeping its advice about chromium supplements under review and looking at evidence that emerges in the future.