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Food Chem Toxicol. 2005 Nov;43(11):1619-25.

Mutagenicity of chromium picolinate and its components in Salmonella typhimurium and L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells.

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Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD 20740-3835, United States.


Chromium picolinate is one of the most commonly used chromium dietary supplements available in the United States, and it has been marketed to consumers for use in weight loss, increasing muscle mass, and lowering serum cholesterol. Chromium picolinate is a synthetic compound that provides a bioavailable form of Cr(III) that is absorbed better than dietary chromium. However, there are several reports that it can have adverse effects. In order to study the mechanism of observed cellular toxicity and mutagenicity, chromium picolinate and its component compounds, chromium (III) chloride and picolinic acid, were evaluated in Salmonella typhimurium and L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells. Neither chromium picolinate nor chromium chloride induced a mutagenic response in S. typhimurium. However, in the L5178Y mouse lymphoma mutation assay, chromium picolinate induced mutagenic responses without and with the addition of S9.

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