Chromium Propionate vs. Chromium Picolinate

Did you know that different forms of chromium have different modes of action, and varying levels of efficacy? Are you utilizng the right chromium for your operation?

Chromium propionate, the active molecule in KemTRACE® Chromium, results in superior dissolution in the digestive tract when compared to chromium picolinate. This superior dissolution leads to substantially more chromium available for absorption in the small intestine, which is key for greater efficacy. Improved absorption of chromium enhances the metabolic benefits of chromium, such as increasing glucose clearance from the blood to various tissues and organs, including muscles. Increased glucose clearance amplifies energy available for the pig to utilize and may optimize overall performance, based on the animal's hierarchy of needs.


With a higher absorption value, chromium propionate — such as that found in KemTRACE Chromium — is a higher value product. This means more useable energy for your pigs, and ultimately. improved maintenance, reproduction, growth and immunity.


Chromium propionate has a Pka (the unit dissociation equilibrium) of 4.8, compared to chromium picolinate at 1.5. This results in a higher availability of chromium for absorption within the intestines.

Higher absorption ensures more chromium is available in a form the animal can use for optimal benefits.

Blood glucose clearance provides further evidence that chromium propionate delivers a higher value than chromium picolinate.

Ready to see the data?

In an insulin challenge study, pigs were given 0.1 IU porcine insulin/kg of body weight to determine the bioavailability and resulting insulin sensitivity (Figure 1). Pigs fed chromium propionate showed a 45% increase of glucose clearance compared to the control and an 18% increase compared to chromium propionate — providing more glucose for the pig to use.

Figure 1. Effect of dietary chromium source on glucose kinetics during an intravenous insulin challenge test (IVICT) in growing barrows (0.1 IU porcine insulin/kg BW)3


KemTRACE® Chromium: Designed for Optimal Sow Performance


Stress has a tremendous impact on sow performance. When a sow is experiencing stress conditions, cortisol is released, resulting in behavioral, metabolic, immunological and intestinal changes. Studies have shown that cortisol can have a negative impact on sow performance. Chromium has been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol, thereby reducing the negative impacts of stress.


Optimize Energy Utilization and Reduce Stress


When an animal is experiencing stress conditions, cortisol is released - resulting in behavioral, metabolic and immunological changes. These changes may have an impact on feed intake, which reduces the amount of glucose available to the animal. In this way, stressors like the environment, health challenges, stocking density and more are often contributing factors to reduced feed intake and lead to energy loss.


Optimize Reproductive Performance


Chromium propionate increases mobilization of blood glucose into tissue for improved animal performance during reproduction. Studies have shown chromium propionate in gestation and lactation can result in improved sow body condition, fewer non-productive sow days, heavier weaned pigs and decreased pre-weaning mortality. Depending on the pig's need, chromium supplementation can result in greater feed intake and improved body condition, particularly as it relates to combating stressors.



1Unpublished data on file at Kemin Industries, 2007.
2Matthews, J. O., et al. (2001). Effect of chromium picolinate and chromium propionate on glucose and insulin kinetics of growing barrows and on growth and carcass traits of growing-finishing barrows. Journal of Animal Science. 79.
3Matthews, J.O., L. L. Southern, J. M. Fernandez, J. E. Pontif, T. D. Bidner, and R. L. Odgaard. (2001). Effect of chromium picolinate and chromium propionate on glucose and insulin kinetics of growing barrows and on growth and carcass traits of growing-finishing barrows. Journal of Animal Science. 79:2172-2178.

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