Chromium Picolinate for Gout - it promises much but can it deliver?

This page about chromium picolinate for gout was last reviewed, or updated, on 2 August 2011.

Congratulations! You have arrived at this page. Most visitors to don't find it. You are about to read about a little known mineral which may be very helpful in gout treatment. But then again, it might not. It's a "on the one hand, on the other hand" kind of article. But read on, and please read the "best bet about chromium picolinate for gout?" at the bottom.

First, we should say that chromium picolinate for gout treatment specifically, has not been studied. And nutrition authorities have not made up their mind about chromium picolinate because the studies are contradictory. 

Chromium picolinate may attack the problem of excess uric acid (hyperuricemia) from two routes – the need to lose weight and the need to reduce uric acid levels. Of course if you lose weight you should reduce your uric acid level and chromium picolinate may help you to lose weight. 

And it may also help by reducing the body's insulin and glucose levels. It helps insulin to get glucose into cells. Insulin has been found in at least five studies to inhibit the excretion of uric acid.  So there are good reasons for considering chromium picolinate for gout although the study evidence for what we have just said, except about insulin and uric acid, is contradictory.

Chromium has been shown to help burn fat. There are other vitamins and substances that can do this, but we like the idea of using chromium because of its possible additional ability to work against insulin resistance, lower insulin levels and thus improve uric acid's excretion. So you may get a double bang for your buck. But unfortunately, studies showing that this happens are contradicted by those that say it does not.


Other markers of insulin resistance  In some studies it has been found to lower total cholesterol, and especially LDL cholesterol. Many restricted carb (e.g. the Atkins diet) or low fat diets do not do well in lowering LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol. (They have more success in raising HDL cholesterol, improving the HDL to total cholesterol ratio, lowering total cholesterol, and in lowering triglycerides). But chromium picolinate has had success in lowering LDL cholesterol. However other studies have found that it had no success against markers of insulin resistance.

Builds muscle

Chromium picolinate also has a reputation for building muscles, which is why its product labels and advertisements so frequently show muscular men. Studies have shown that it can and that it can't.

Reduces sugar cravings

Chromium reduces sugar cravings and appetite, and sugar it's thought may reduce chromium. This has obvious merit, especially if you are on a restricted carbohydrate diet for gout. But again, studies do not agree that this is so.

Can I get enough chromium from my diet?

Some dietary experts say we don't get enough chromium and that is very difficult to get enough from foods. Their argument is that foods that contain chromium only have very little and it would be impossible to get enough from our diet. The highest chromium food is probably broccoli, that super nutrient vegetable. If you ate broccoli daily you could say to yourself "well I got a useful amount of chromium today". But even this would not be enough, they say, to get the benefits we have described.

On the other hand, nutrition authorities think we probably do get enough chromium. It is found in a wide variety of foods, but in small amounts and not much is absorbed from food. Chromium is elusive. There are problems measuring its body levels.

What you need to take chromium well, is a dietary supplement of chromium picolinate or chromium  polynicotinate.

Dietary supplement dosage

So if you want to use this vitamin for gout, (actually it's a mineral) a dietary supplement is really the only way. A brewers' yeast supplement is often recommended to add chromium, which is well absorbed from brewers' yeast. (Good bioavailability). One tablespoon of brewers' yeast contains about 95 mcg of chromium. The problem with brewers yeast is that it is high purine. And many are allergic to yeast. Another problem is that many multi-vitamin supplements contain chromium in forms, such as chromium chloride, or amounts, which studies have shown, don't work for we are talking about.

Dosage  200 – 500 mcg daily has been found to have positive effects. To repeat, you need to use chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate. Success in studies has only come with these two forms. You may need more, possibly 600 mcg but do not overdose. Reduce to 40 mcg – 200 mcg daily when, or if, your uric acid levels have fallen to the desired level.

Take chromium picolinate under a doctor's supervision. This caution is even more important  if you have diabetes – remember chromium picolinate may affect your blood sugar (glucose) levels.Or if you are on any medicine for gout.


Medical authorities such as the US FDA and Britain's Food Standards Agency think chromium picolinate is safe. A few people might suffer a skin rash or dizziness in the early stages of taking it.

Diet is more important

Remember, insulin levels and insulin resistance are much, much, more affected by diet than by chromium picolinate.

Chromium picolinate may be a helpful addition in reducing insulin levels and overcoming insulin resistance. It has, in studies, reduced body fat when combined with various diets, but diets in general have of course been more accurately studied for weight loss and insulin resistance. Your diet is more important. Diets such as the low purine diet, and the gout sufferer's diet (anti insulin resistance),
have lowered uric acid levels.


There are brands of chromium picolinate which are not expensive. You could try one of these first. If it doesn't seem to be helping, the real trick may be in finding the right dose level and in using a high quality chromium picolinate product.

Chromax and Diachrome 

Nutrition 21 is a company that produces a high quality form of chromium picolinate. It has two chromium picolinate brands, Chromax and Diachrome. Diachrome is a combination of chromium picolinate and biotin. Combining it with biotin may make the real difference between success and failure with chromium picolinate. Ten years ago, in his book "Dr.Atkins' Vita Nutrient Solution", the famous diet doctor said biotin helps in managing blood sugar and he used it as part of his treatment for some of his diabetes patients, along with chromium picolinate.

A 2008 study showed Chromax reduced hunger levels and carbohydrate cravings in non diabetic women. Other studies have showed Diachrome improves blood sugar control, and insulin sensitivity in people with Type 2 diabetes. Note these were people with Type 2 diabetes, so please discuss it with your doctor first.

The well known  Weider Fat Burner supplement includes the Chromax chromium picolinate form in its formula.

Click here to visit Nutrition21's website and to learn more about these products.

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