Difference Between Chromium and Chromium Picolinate

Hi Dr Mcleod,
Loved your book. I’m a bit confused with aussi doses tho. Read more

Quick Response to Chromium

May 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

I wanted to let you know and others of my experience so far. I have been taking Chromium Picolinate for 5 days now and am in shock. I went off my antidepressant about 6 weeks ago and started to relapse. Guess what? Since yesterday morning I have felt great! I am having a bit of anxiety due to the disbelief of how quickly I went from despair and not wanting to live to joy and peace. It blows my mind. I hope this continues as I still keep waiting as if it won’t last.

Thank you, Dr. Mcleod.


Correct Chromium Dosage

May 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

Dear Dr Mcleod

Thank you so much for your research into the benefits of chromium supplementation. It has had such a positive impact on my life, and as a consequence, on my family and friends also.

In Australia, the most elemental chromium our regulations permit is 50mcgs per dose. Most sources of chromium picolinate here contain 400mcgs of chromium picolinate (representing 50mcgs of elemental chromium) per tablet. Therefore, to receive a 500mcg dose of elemental chromium, we need to be taking 10 tablets! Is this correct? We don’t have Chromax Plus down here, but it seems a 500mcg dose of Chromax Plus refers to 500mcgs of elemental chromium.

If you could shed any light on this, it would be much appreciated. Your post ‘The difference between elemental chromium and chromium picolinate‘ (April 30, 2008), seems to indicate the above to be true. However, I would like to confirm if possible before I continue to tell others about this great discovery.

Thank you again,


Dear D

Thank you for contacting me and addressing this important question.

Please verify the following sentence, “Most sources of chromium picolinate here contain 400mcgs of chromium picolinate (representing 50mcgs of elemental chromium) per tablet.” Are you certain you are reading the label correctly? Please verify and get back to me.

Chromium picolinate is comprised of 1 part elemental chromium and 8 parts picolinic acid. In other words, chromium picolinate is composed of 12.43% elemental chromium and ~88% picolinic acid. For example, a label that reads 600 micrograms of chromium as chromium picolinate indicates that the pill or capsule contains 600 micrograms of elemental chromium and 4200 micrograms of picolinic acid. The same ratio applies to lesser amounts.

You indicate you have benefited from chromium supplementation. How does the label read on your bottle of chromium? How much elemental chromium have you been taking?

I look forward to trying to clarify your question.

Malcolm N. McLeod, MD

Dosage of Chromium

May 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

Hello Dr

I’m looking forward to purchasing my first bottle of Chromium tomorrow – which I was planning to do for blood sugar levels anyway then as a stroke of good fortune stumbled across your amazing book and site. I have taken a myriad of three or four ssri and snri antidpressants over the years usually during times such as a divorce etc and as the side effects are unbearable turned to herbs – the most successful and only one that doesn’t sedate me is rhodiola rosea which I think works well. My question about chromium is should i buy the pure chromium picolinate in Australia – one brand, Nature’s Own – has 400mcg tablets that say they convert to 50mcg elemental chromium? I calculated i would need about 570 mcgs a day so would taking 2 tablets equalling 800 mcgs a day be overdoing it?

Kind regards



Dear B.S.

 I don’t know  your weight but I suggest beginning in the range of 3-5 micrograms per body weight per day. Why not start at the lower dosage of 400 mcg per day and monitor your response? If unsatisfactory, you could increase it to 800 mcg per day.   By the way, chromium will not sedate you as have the SSRIs and SNRIs.  Please read the Q&As on this site.

Good luck and let me know what you experience with chromium.

Malcolm McLeod, MD

Finding the Right Dosage of Chromium

September 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

Dr. McLeod,

I have been interested in chromium for a long time.  I find that if I take 400mcg per day I often feel agitated/overstimulated.  I don’t notice any improvement in mood at 200mcg. 

Read more

Dosage of New Chromax

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

Dosage of New Chromax

hi dr. mcleod,
i stumbled upon your research and blog online today and am praying Chromax will help me in my 20 year battle with depression, pmdd, sad and 3 bouts of ppd. All of which run on both sides of my family along with diabetes.i noticed the 500 mg capsules of Chromax have 250mg of chromium picolinate and 250mg of chromium histidinate? If I need 1000mg of Chromium Picolinate according to your blog, should I take 2 or 4 of these pills each day? Have you studied both forms of Chromium? Think this is a new formulation of Chromax…..Thanks!


Yes, you are referring to the newest formulation of Chromax. By clicking on the following link you can see how it is package and where to purchase: itIceland Health Chromax Plus. This formulation contains chromium that has been bound or chelated with picolinic acid and histidinate. The hope is that absorption of chromium will be increased by mixing these two forms of chroium. You should take 2 pills each day if your goal to to take 1000 micrograms of chromium per day.

Please let me know if this helps.

Malcolm McLeod


April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?


Dr. McLeod:

After reading your book, I started taking chromium almost five years ago. It had a profound impact. I am wondering about dosage. I believe I have been taking 200 mcg after breakfast, and then again, at around 10:30 am. Odd as this might sound, I wonder if I initailly was taking 500 mcg, and then somehow purchased the 200 mcg. What is the proper dose? If I should increase, what is the best way to build up to the higher dose? I have gained weight in the last year, and wonder if that is because I changed accidentally from 500 to 200.





Dear RH

I usually recommend that people start taking 3 micrograms per pound of body weight of chromium picolinate daily. If that dosage does not curb appetite, give more energy, and lift depression within one week, I suggest increasing the dosage to 5 micrograms per pound of body weight daily. That ‘translates” to a maximum dosage of 1000 micrograms per day for a person who weighs 200 pounds.

If increasing the dosage does not achieve the desired effect, you may want to consider switching to another brand of chromium picolinate. Not all formulations are made with equal atttention to quality control.

Thank you for contacting me. Please let me know if increasing the dosage helps.

Malcolm N. McLeod, MD

What Tme of Day Should I Take Chromium?

April 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

What Tme of Day Should I Take Chromium?

Hi Dr. McLeod.

I just ordered a bottle of Chromax, 250 count, from Costco’s. I noticed on the label it recommends one 500 mcg pill every day. Would taking 2 pills in one day (one in the morning/one at night) be harmful?

Thank you,

Hello John,

It’s OK to take two 500 mcg tablet of Chromax per day. I would, however, take one tablet in the morning and a second no later than noon. The second pill should not be taken later than noon because taking it later in the day sometimes causes a little trouble falling asleep.

Thank you for your question. Please let me know the results.

Kind regards,

Malcolm McLeod

Is it safe to take over 1000 mcg per day of CrPic?

April 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

Is it safe to take over 1000 mcg per day of CrPic?

Dear Dr. McLeod,

I read your recent post about acceptable dosage of chromium and 3 to 5 mcg per body weight. If I apply this to my weight then I get more than 1000mcg, is it ok for me at 295 pounds to take 1475 mcg?

A.L., Scotland

Dear A.L.
Chromium picolinate has a wide margin of safety. Laboratory animals have been given dosages that far exceed the mcg per pound of body weight you are considering, and they have not suffered adverse effects. However, I’m not aware of studies of a large number of people who have taken more than 1000 micrograms per day for long periods of time.

Conclusion: Although I suspect that 1474 mcg per day is safe for you, I suggest you limit your daily intake to 1000 mcg per day until more data is available at higher doses.

It is conceivable that chromium might help you lose weight by increasing your energy level and enabling you to exercise more. Chromium has also been shown to decrease carbohydrate cravings, which might also help you lose weight. This has certainly been the case with many of my patients.

Good luck. Please let me known what responses you might have.
Thank you for your question.

Malcolm McLeod, MD
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Acceptable Dosage of Chromium

April 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Dosage and Timing?

Acceptable Dosage of Chromium

Dear Dr. McLeod,

Thanks so much for your research into chromium suplementation for
depression. I found the abstract of your 2003 paper a couple of weeks
ago and have been taking chromium picolinate since then. It has
profoundly improved my life – my lifelong anxiety has been lifted, my
energy levels and mood are improved and the only side effect is
enhanced dreaming.

I am currently taking 600mcg chromium per day. The abstract of your
2003 paper suggests 600mcg of chromium picolinate, whereas Docherty et al (2005) used a dosage of chromium picolinate equivalent to 600mcg elemental chromium, which is 4,800mcg of chromium picolinate. What is the correct dosage?

I look forward to your answer.


A. W

Dear A. W.

Thank you for contacting me. I’m pleased that chromium is helping you.

The enhanced dreaming is a good sign that chromium is working in your body. Rather than a side effect, I think of it as a salutary sign. Some antidepressant medications cause an increase in dreaming. Ususally vivid dreaming subsides in two weeks. Please let me know the duration of your vivid dreaming.

I recommend a starting dosage of 3 mcg per pound of body weight per day of Chromax chromium picolinate. For a two-hundred pound person that “translates” to 600 mcg per day. If the desired relief is not achieved within a week, I suggest increasing the daily dosage to 5 mcg per body weight each day.

In the Docherty et al (2005)study, the dosage of Chromax chromium picolinate was 600 mcg per day of elemental chromium. That does NOT “translate” to 4,800 mcg per day of elemental chromium.

Again, thank you so much for contacting me about this important issue.

Malcolm McLeod, MD

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