Overview & Description
Chromium is a trace mineral. This means it is needed in very smallamounts. Chromium supplements may be useful in a number ofhealth conditions.
There are many chromium supplements available. Chromiumis available in supplements under the names chromium picolinate,chromium polynicotinate, chromium chloride and others. These supplementshave gained a great deal of attention as a means to lose weight. Moreresearch is needed to confirm any results to date.
The chromium in supplements is found to be mostly safe andconsuming harmful amounts from food is very unlikely. However, excessintake can hurt, rather than help, the use of insulin. The greatest benefitsof increasing intake of chromium are seen in people who are severely deficient in themineral. In these cases, it has been shown to improve glucose and insulinfunction.
People who eat a diet high in sugar and refined foods aremore at risk for not getting enough chromium. Sugarincreases chromium loss and refined foods are very low in chromium.Athletes may also have increased chromium loss through exercise.Chromium deficiency can resemble diabetes.
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance,called RDA, for chromium. For adults, a safe and healthy amount isbetween 50 to 200 mcg per day. A mcg is a very small amount equal to athousandth of a milligram. Even though chromium is needed in only small amounts,it is a key mineral in the body.
Functions and Sources
What food source is the nutrient found in?
Good sources of chromium include:
The process of refining removeschromium from grains. As a result, foods like white flour and whiterice are low in chromium. Most Americans get only 50 to 100micrograms (mcg) of chromium per day through diet.
How does the nutrient affect the body?
Chromium combines with niacin to form Glucose ToleranceFactor, also known as GTF. GTF works with insulin to help the body useglucose. Insulin is the hormone that takes glucose from blood and puts itinto cells where it is used for energy. Chromium helps reduce the amount ofinsulin needed to maintain blood sugar. Some studies report that people who havediabetes better bloodcan get better glucose control by taking chromium supplements.
Getting theright amount of chromium each day may also help protect againstheart attacks in people that are at high risk, such as those who have diabetes.Chromium seems to improve levels of blood fats such as cholesterol.
Article type: xmedgeneral