Dec 11, 2016 | Updated: 09:37 AM EST

Popular Chromium Pill Is Linked To Carcinogens -- Study

Jan 13, 2016 02:33 AM EST

Carcinogens are chemicals known to develop cancer; they are usually found in artificially cured meat products such as bacon and beef jerky. Recently, a new study revealed that carcinogens were also detected on the coating of a popular diet pill commonly used by dieters and bodybuilders.

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A team of researchers led by Lindsay Wu from the University of NSW's School of Medical Sciences and Peter Lay from the University of Sydney's School of Chemistry, and was supported by Australian Research Council, raised an awareness regarding the possible dangers of consuming the chromium dietary pill in a long time taken at high dosages. Chromium is trace mineral that is sold as nutritional and dietary supplement. Although this particular mineral should be ingested at a controlled amount of 200 micrograms to still make it safe for the body, some brands of dietary supplement ends up having 500 micrograms of chromium per single pill. The researchers warned that taking chromium dietary pills only result in small benefits if the dosages were low and correct. However, if it's given at a higher dosage, it can't do anything good for the body and will instead be hazardous.

Professors Lay and Wu along with other researchers of the team have studied and experimented on animal fat cells in the laboratory and injected it with chromium. They created the map of every single chemical element that was present in that particular cell through the use of the synchrotron's intense X-ray beam. This particular process did not just allow them to see the chromium spots on the cells but also detect whether they have the possibility to be converted into carcinogen form that will harm the body once it entered.

According to Professor Wu, they were able to discover that chromium really does affect the cells by oxidizing it. She also added that the cell lost all its electrons and went into its carcinogen form. Professor Wu also noted that this is the first time that the oxidation process was observed on a biological sample and that they expect results when it comes to human cells.

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