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- Why chromium is good for you
- Important chromium facts
- Groups at risk of chromium deficiency
- Symptoms of chromium deficiency
- Chromium and health
- Chromium in foods
- Chromium recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Chromium works best with
- Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for chromium
Chromium is an essential nutrient required for normal glucose and fat metabolism and works primarily by ensuring insulin acts correctly. It is present in the entire body but with the highest concentrations in the liver, kidneys, spleen and bone.
Chromium is needed for energy, as it maintains stable blood glucose levels. In cooperation with other substances, it controls insulin as well as certain enzymes. It is also required in synthesis of fats, protein and carbohydrates.
Although chromium is only required in very small amounts, our modern day diet has left many people short of chromium on a daily basis, with the average person being chromium deficient, and two out of three people being hypoglycaemic, pre-hypoglycaemic or diabetic.
Chromium works with the GTF (glucose tolerance factor) when this hormone-affiliated agent enters the bloodstream because of an increase of insulin in the bloodstream.
Natural chromium levels decline with age and so do the actions of GTF.
- Chromium picolinate is chromium chelated with picolinate - a natural amino acid metabolite and is helpful in assisting with the loss of fat and increased lean muscle tissue. Chromium picolinate in this form is the most bio-available to humans.
- Chromium chloride, on the other hand, should be avoided as it is mostly non-absorbable
- Although chromium picolinate is readily absorbed by the body, and is one of the best types of chromium when it comes to absorption - it will only be absorbed it if there is a shortage of chromium
- Chromium may assist in preventing coronary artery disease
- Athletes undertaking endurance exercise - several studies of male runners indicated that urinary chromium loss was increased when undertaking endurance exercise
- Patients on long-term intravenous drips - chromium deficiency has been reported in patients on long-term intravenous feeding who did not receive supplemental chromium in their intravenous solutions
People in these groups at risk of deficiency should talk to a medical professional about chromium supplements BEFORE taking them.
A shortage of chromium may lead to symptoms such as:
Chromium deficiency occurs when there is <30mcg intake of chromium per day.
About 56% of the Australian population may be at risk of chromium deficiency.
- Heart disease - studies investigating the effects of chromium on the heart have shown reductions in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides levels or increases in HDL-cholesterol levels, while other studies have shown no effect. More research needs to be undertaken to prove the effect of chromium for heart health
People who wish to take a chromium supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.
|Turkey ham (processed)||85g||10.4|
|Grape juice||1 cup||7.5|
|Potatoes, mashed||1 cup||2.7|
|Orange juice||1 cup||2.2|
|Green beans||½ cup||1.1|
|CHILDREN - male||9-13yrs
|CHILDREN - female||9-13yrs
|TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT||none established|
|TOXIC LEVELS||> 200mcg per day|
The tolerable upper limits should only be taken for short periods and only under medical supervision.
The dietary form of chromium has very low toxicity. Some people have reported a skin rash and light-headedness - if this occurs, stop taking the supplement and consult a medical professional.
Long-term exposure to environmental chromium may lead to skin problems, liver and kidney impairment.
Diabetics should NOT supplement with chromium, except under medical supervision, as it can make blood glucose levels drop too low.
- USDA National Nutrient Database - provides nutrient values for foods (accessed 5 January 2005)
- Osiecki, H. The Nutrient Bible. Bio-Concepts Publishing QLD, 2002
- Whitney EN, Cataldo DB, Rolfes SR. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, 6th Edition. Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2002