Articles

Chromium

Introduction

Chromium was first discovered as an essential trace element in 1955. The body of an average healthy individual contains only several milligrams. However, this small amount plays important roles in the enhancement of insulin’s effectiveness, regulation of blood sugar levels, and the activation of various enzymes for energy production.

Good chromium food sources include whole grain breads and cereals, lean meats, cheeses, and some condiments, such as black pepper and thyme. Brewer’s yeast is also rich in chromium.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

50-1,000mcg daily. (1) , (2)

Most Common Dosage

200mcg per day.

Dosage Forms

Tablets, capsules, and liquid.

Interactions and Depletions

Depletions

Reported Uses

Working together with insulin, chromium is a vital part of the body’s natural mechanism for controlling blood sugar levels. Chromium may also play a role in regulating blood cholesterol levels. In fact, a recent study indicated that 200mcg per day of chromium may lower total cholesterol.

Research has suggested that chromium may have a number of targeted clinical uses. Because it plays a role in maintaining blood sugar levels, chromium has been used in the treatment of diabetes and hypoglycemia. (3) , (4)

Researchers have also noted that patients with coronary heart disease have significantly lower chromium levels than healthy people. (5) , (6) Other studies suggest that chromium supplementation may support healthy vision and help fight glaucoma. (7) Finally, chromium supplementation may help decrease body fat while increasing lean body mass. (8)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Pregnancy / Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Proper nutrition is essential during pregnancy for the healthy development of the fetus. Numerous vitamins and minerals are a vital part of proper nutrition. If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breast-feeding an infant, talk to your healthcare professional about supplementing your diet with appropriate vitamins and minerals.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of proper growth and development. Talk to your healthcare professional about the appropriate use of vitamins and minerals in children. Do not use any vitamin or mineral in children under 2 years of age unless first discussed with your healthcare professional.

References

  1. View Abstract: Preuss HG, Anderson RA. Chromium update: examining recent literature 1997-1998. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. Nov1998;1(6):509-512.
  2. View Abstract: Roeback JR Jr, Hla KM, Chambless LE, Fletcher RH. Effects of chromium supplementation on serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in men taking beta-blockers; A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. Dec1991;115(12):917-924.
  3. View Abstract: Anderson RA, et al. Elevated Intakes of Supplemental Chromium Improve Glucose and Insulin Variables in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes. Nov1997;46(11):1786-91.
  4. View Abstract: Ghosh D, Bhattacharya B, Mukherjee B, et al. Role of chromium supplementation in Indians with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Nutr Biochem. Nov2002;13(11):690-697.
  5. View Abstract: Newman HA, et al. Serum Chromium and Angiographically Determined Coronary Artery Disease. Clin Chem. Apr1978;24(4):541-44.
  6. View Abstract: Canonaco F, et al. Chromium and Atherosclerosis. Pediatr Med Chir. May1986;8(3):415-16.
  7. Lane BC. Diet and the Glaucomas. J Am Coll Nutr. 1991;10(5):536.
  8. View Abstract: Anderson RA. Effects of Chromium on Body Composition and Weight Loss. Nutr Rev. Sept1998;56(9): 266-70.