Chromium picolinate is a patented version of the trace element chromium, chemically bound to picolinic acid.
The body produces picolinic acid as a mechanism to improve the assimilation of trace minerals at the cellular level. Fully reacted chromium in picolinate form saves the body a metabolic step and improves the rate of absorption. Studies have shown chromium picolinate supplementation to improve metabolism, and lower blood serum cholesterol and glucose levels. Chromium enhances the ability of insulin to lower serum glucose levels; this has a favorable effect on the development of coronary heart disease as diabetes is a major risk factor.
Athletes that train extensively should also consider supplementation as excessive excretion through perspiration can lead to a deficiency.