Chromium mineral is the trace element which has been shown to have a role in binding of insulin to cells and potentiating its effects in glucose metabolism. The metabolism of glucose then has wide ranges of effects throughout the body.
Chromium is found in large quantity in relatively little foods. Some of its sources are
- Plant sources: broccoli mushrooms, Brewers’ yeast Whole grains, nuts are its plant sources.
- Animal sources: The processed meats, milk products, cheese, coffee, liver, and tea are the richest food sources of this mineral. Chromium is now also available in other forms such as a dietary supplement which include chromium nicotinate, chromium picolinate, and chromium chloride
It seemes that some people complain of its difficult digestion.
Chromium is one of the important minerals. Some of its important functions include
- It improves the function of insulin in the body and may result in good control of sugar level in the blood. It has been found beneficial those individual suffering from type II diabetes in reducing the level of insulin.
- It provides relieves from depressive symptoms in an individual with atypical depression.
- Chromium may be beneficial in improving lipid metabolism by lowering bad cholesterol which lows density lipoprotein and increasing high-density lipoprotein which is good cholesterol.
- It is beneficial in the maintaining of composition fat as well as muscles when weight loss is done.
Recommended Daily Dose
The recommended daily intake for the chromium as given by the National Institutes of Health is:
- Children 11 mcg
- Teenagers 35 mcg
- Men 30 -35 mcg
- Women 20- 25 mcg
- Pregnant women 30 mcg
- Lactating women 30 mcg
For disease prevention recommendation of chromium, dosages are around 300 mcg per day, and dosage for the treatment of diabetes are around1000 mcg per day.
The deficiency of chromium may lead to impairment of glucose tolerance and also impair the ability of insulin to regulate glucose levels. Low levels of chromium results in very high levels of cholesterol and then there arises an increased chance of heart disease. There occurs insulin resistance, increase blood sugar levels and impairment of lipids profile. Severe deficiency can even lead to peripheral neuropathy, weight loss, and meningitis.
Chromium mineral is relatively safe and does not lead to toxicity but the use of its supplements can cause certain toxic effects on the body. Ingestion of very high doses of chromium supplements results in
- reduction of effectiveness of the insulin
- irritation in stomach
- Liver dysfunction
- Little damage to the kidney
These symptoms are mostly due to excessive use of chromium picolinate supplements. Other forms of chromium supplementations are safe.
Owning to low chromium levels it is preferred by the doctors to utilize it in the form of either food or supplements. Its use can enhance the absorption of many other minerals so it provides dual benefits to the body.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.