Chromium might be a good supplement for anxiety sufferers. As with all supplements the research to prove or disprove this theory simply does not exist, but there are reasons to link a chromium deficiency with anxiety.
Chromium is used by the body for the correct digestion of food and helps supply energy to the cells. A Chromium deficiency has been linked to:
- Sugar metabolism problems
- High cholestrol
- Hardening of the arteries
Those deficient in Chromium might suffer anxiety as a direct effect of that, or as an effect of low blood-sugar, or being prone to blood sugar dips after large meals or prolonged gaps between meals.
Some time ago the most common form of Chromium in supplement form, Chromium Picolinate, got a bad reputation due to claims that it might be linked to cancer. These claims appear to have been refuted, at least for commonly used normal doses.
Some researchers believe that Chromium helps with atypical depression, of which anxiety is a common symptom, but others refute that saying there is no statistical evidence.
Statistical evidence is a thorny problem though. If a hundred people with anxiety are given Chromium and only one improves, and that is because that person is deficient in chromium, then the fact that that trial would show a negative outcome is irrelevant, if you too are deficient in chromium. There are two big problems with testing the efficacy of supplements. One is that not enough research is done as there are no patents and therefore no money to be made. The second is that everyone is different and symptoms, such as anxiety, can be caused by so many things the results are not necessarily helpful to the individual.
So is Chromium supplementation worth a try? Definitely. Speaking from personal experience, it definitely does have an effect on blood sugar and does seem to stop low moods and anxious feelings. On Chromium I simply feel less nervy.
Types of Chromium
Chromium Picolinate is the one to go for. In the USA I recommend Source Naturals Chromium Picolinate, 200 mcg, Tablets. In the UK/Europe I recommend Higher Nature Chromium Polynicotinate 90 tablets. But any reliable brand should be just as good.
For adults 100-200 mcg is the standard dose. I wouldn’t take more without professional advice.