Chromium (Cr) is a group 6 element which as Wikipedia notes is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard and brittle transition metal.
In its elemental form, this element is toxic to both animals and human beings at any level especially the hexavalent chromium together with its products if ingested or inhaled. However, the trivalent or chromium picolinate is considered as a trace mineral part of dietary requirement.
As a dietary mineral, Japan, the US, New Zealand, India, and Australia considers it as an essential nutrient to human beings. However, the European Food Safety Authority noted that in 2014, there isn’t enough evidence that it is an essential mineral required by humans.
Some of chromium-rich foods include vegetables such as green beans, broccoli and potatoes, whole grains, liver, beef and poultry, fruits including bananas and grape juice as well as milk and dairy products.
Do cats need it?
It is not listed as one of the essential minerals for cats and dogs by AAFCO meaning it does not recognize it as one of the essential nutrients for growth and development.
Chromium picolinate and cats
One form of mineral found in supplements is the chromium picolinate whose dietary sources include bacon, cheese, cacao ribs, peas, corn, raw oysters, peanut and peanut butter, among others.
Some of the key benefits of chromium picolinate in cats include the following:
- It “is effective for the management of feline obesity because and develop a short obesity program versus another kind of strategy, notes the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2004
- DVM360 recommends it at doses of 200 micrograms per cat daily as a means of lowering blood sugar in diabetic cats (hypoglycemic drug). Felines that benefit the most are those that have “glucose intolerance and insulin resistance from lack of exercise, obesity and old age.”
There is still debate on whether this trace mineral does help in weight loss as well as diabetes, especially diabetes type 2. Also, there is a need to couple this supplement with other diabetes treatments.
Furthermore, Vetinfo.com also notes that there is a small risk of kidney disease with cat breeds such as Siamese having a higher risk of bladder, urinary and kidney disease upon supplementation.
Therefore, discuss with your vet before you consider supplementation and avoid this mineral n in case of kidney disease.