Chromium is a trace mineral, meaning it only occurs in minute quantities and our bodies only need it in small amounts. Chromium is essential for normal sugar metabolism and works with the hormone insulin to help cells take in glucose and break it down for energy use.
Chromium is a key component in the metabolism of sugar. It is part of a compound called the glucose tolerance factor or GTF, where it works together with insulin to help cells take in and break down glucose to be used for energy. Aside from the metabolism of sugar, chromium can help to lower LDLs, increase HDLs, help increase metabolism and weight loss as well as help maintain muscle mass in those with HIV/AIDS.
- Up to 6 months: 0.2 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
- 7 to 12 months: 5.5 mcg/day
- 1 to 3 years old: 11 mcg/day
- 4 to 8 years old: 15 mcg/day
- Males 9 to 13 years old: 25 mcg/day
- Females 9 to 13 years old: 21 mcg/day
Adolescents and Adults
- 14 to 50 years old: 35 mcg/day
- 51 years old and older: 30 mcg/day
- 14 to 18 years old: 24 mcg/day
- 19 to 50 years old: 25 mcg/day
- 51 years old and older: 20 mcg/day
Those with a chromium deficiency may have symptoms like high amounts of fat within the blood or high cholesterol levels, and diabetes – like symptoms such as glucose intolerance, weakness, weight loss and frequent urination. Deficiencies in chromium are common in patients with Type II diabetes which can help to explain why glucose intake is less efficient in these patients. Low chromium levels are also linked to heart disease because of ability to lower blood cholesterol levels when the body has the proper amounts.
Sources in the Diet
Chromium can be found in brown sugar, cheddar cheese, dark chocolate, many nuts, mushrooms, cod, oysters and spinach.
Recent Studies and Articles
Chromium and diabetes
Chromium helping reduce blood sugar
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