Facts About Food Fads
Don't Believe It Yet
While such case reports are intriguing, they must be viewed with some
skepticism. Large-scale, controlled studies must be conducted before anyone
with chronic depression should rush out and demand to be started on chromium --
much less take this element without a doctor's supervision. Furthermore, there
has been at least one reported case of a patient becoming manic (extremely
agitated and excited) after taking an over-the-counter compound called ma-huang
-- which contains chromium, caffeine, and a powerful stimulant called
ephedrine. Ma-huang is often sold as a Chinese herb, and is a good example of
why so-called natural products must be approached very cautiously.
Nevertheless, the chromium story is of great interest and may someday give us a
new way of approaching the treatment of depression. In the meantime, check with
your doctor if you feel severely or persistently depressed.