Chromium

General Info

Absorbtion

Chromium is absorbed in the small intestine through an active transport process.

Dietary Origins

Best chromium food sources include black pepper, brewer's yeast, cheeses, lean meats, thyme, whole grain breads and cereals.

Overview

Chromium was first discovered as an essential trace element in 1955. The body of an average healthy individual contains only several milligrams. This small amount plays an important role in the enhancement of insulin's effectiveness, regulation of blood sugar levels, and the activation of various enzymes for energy production. As with many nutrients, a lot has been learned about chromium’s function within the body when observing patients’ who are experiencing chromium deficiency.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

There are no known toxicities or precautions associated with chromium.

Functions in the Body

Insulin

Increases the activity of insulin, thereby reducing the amount of insulin required to manage blood sugar levels.

Regulation of Cholesterol

Helps in the regulation of LDL and HDL serum levels.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

Ingestion of sugar causes the increased urinary discharge of chromium. Therefore, individuals consuming high levels of sugar are at risk of chromium depletion. Another problem is that most of the chromium present in food is lost during food processing. Chromium deficiency contributes to impaired glucose tolerance. Maturity onset diabetes is associated with chromium deficiency. Low levels of chromium are associated with cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease.