Chromium picolinate is a biologically active form 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 as well as to lower glucose levels. Chromium enhances the ability of insulin to lower serum glucose levels; this can be beneficial for those with common risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a group of health problems that increase the mortality rate of North Americans.
Athletes that train extensively should also consider supplementation, as excessive excretion through perspiration can lead to a deficiency.