Can my elderly parent take chromium?

Chromium supplements, which are sometimes used for diabetes and other ailments common in elderly people, are safe at appropriate doses. The Institute of Medicine suggests that it is safe for adults to take up to 200 micrograms (mcg) for up to six months. Taking chromium for longer may be okay, but that hasn't been studied thoroughly. In some small studies, chromium has been given safely in doses of 200 to 1,000 mcg for up to 16 months.

Chromium supplements can cause problems if they're taken with insulin for diabetes or medications for low thyroid levels. They may also interact with painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox). It’s important that your elderly parent talk to his or her doctor about whether to take chromium.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.