What Is The Benefit Of Chromium

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What Is The Benefit Of Chromium

 Chromium is an essential mineral that helps insulin regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Insulin is a hormone produced by your body that converts sugar, starches, and other foods into the energy required for daily activities.

Some evidence suggests that chromium supplements may aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Diabetes patients either do not produce enough insulin or are unable to properly utilize the insulin produced by their bodies. As a result, glucose (sugar) accumulates in the bloodstream.

As much as 90% of American diets are deficient in chromium. However, true chromium deficiency is uncommon. People who are most likely to be chromium deficient include:

  • Senior citizens
  • Those who engage in a lot of strenuous physical activity
  • Those who consume a large amount of sugary foods
  • Women who are pregnant

Low chromium levels can raise blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), and cholesterol levels, as well as put you at risk for a variety of conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Foods high in chromium include:

  • Breads and cereals made from whole grains
  • Meats that are lean
  • Cheeses
  • Some spices, for example, black pepper and thyme
  • Yeast used in brewing


Clinical research indicates that chromium supplements may be beneficial for the following conditions:


Researchers have been studying the effects of chromium supplements on type 2 diabetes for many years. While some clinical studies found no benefit, others found that chromium supplements may lower blood sugar levels as well as the amount of insulin required by people with diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes who took chromium picolinate had better HbA1c values (used to measure long-term blood sugar control) than those who took a placebo in one well-designed study. The chromium group also had better fasting blood glucose levels, which is a measure of short-term blood sugar control.

Another well-designed study looked at chromium and biotin together. Half of the participants in the study received chromium picolinate and biotin, while the other half received a placebo. Those who took chromium and biotin had lower fasting glucose and HbA1c levels.

One study discovered that taking chromium improved blood sugar control in women who had diabetes as a result of being pregnant.

However, not all studies agree, and even if chromium does help reduce blood glucose, it's unclear how significant the benefit is. More investigation is required.

Obesity and weight loss

Chromium is frequently promoted as a weight-loss supplement, as well as a means to increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat. Some studies have found that chromium may help people lose weight and build muscle, while others have found that it has no effect. If chromium does help with weight loss, the effects appear to be minor when compared to exercise and a well-balanced diet.

Strengthening exercises

Chromium is popular among bodybuilders and is available in sports nutrition supplements. However, there is little evidence that chromium aids in muscle mass or strength gains. The majority of studies have concluded that chromium supplementation is ineffective when compared to a healthy diet and exercise.

Cardiovascular health

Although animal studies suggest that chromium may help lower blood pressure, researchers are unsure whether it has the same effect in humans.

Clinical studies on whether chromium can lower cholesterol have yielded conflicting results. Some studies, including one that combined chromium with grape seed extract, suggest that chromium may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. In another study, people taking beta-blockers found that supplementing with chromium increased their HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Other applications

In one small study, chromium picolinate was found to improve symptoms of depression in people with atypical depression. A larger study, however, discovered that chromium did not help. More investigation is required.

Sources of nutrition

The following foods are high in chromium:

  • Brewer's yeast, particularly yeast grown in soil rich in chromium
  • Meats that are lean (especially processed meats)
  • Cheeses
  • Whole-wheat breads and cereals
  • Molasses
  • Spices
  • Several bran cereals

Other dietary sources of chromium that are high in chromium include:

  • Kidneys and other organ meats from pork
  • Mushroom\sOatmeal\sPrunes\sNuts\sAsparagus
  • Chromium levels are low in vegetables, fruits, and most refined and processed foods (except for processed meats).

Forms That Are Available

Chromium is available in a variety of commercial forms, including:

  • nicotinate of chromium
  • Histidinate of chromium
  • Picolinate of chromium
  • Yeast fortified with chromium
  • Chromium chloride
  • Chromium is a glucose tolerance factor (GTF)
  • Chromium is available in tablet and capsule form as part of many multivitamins.

How to Approach It

The chromium amounts are based on the Food and Nutrition Board's Dietary Reference Intakes at the Institute of Medicine.

Researchers are unsure of the safe and tolerable upper limits for chromium. The following are the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for chromium:


  • 0.2 mcg (micrograms) daily for infants from birth to 6 months.
  • 5.5 mcg daily for infants aged 7 to 12 months
  • 11 mcg daily for children aged 1 to 3 years
  • 15 mcg daily for children aged 4 to 8 years

For boys aged 9 to 13:25 mcg daily for girls aged 9 to 13 years; 21 mcg daily for girls aged 9 to 13 years

  • 35 mcg daily for boys aged 14 to 18 years.
  • Girls aged 14 to 18 years: 24 mcg daily
  • 14 to 18-year-old pregnant women: 29 mcg daily
  • 14 to 18-year-old breastfeeding women: 44 mcg daily


  • 35 mcg daily for adult men aged 19 to 50 years.
  • Adult men aged 51 and up: 30 mcg daily
  • 25 mcg daily for adult women aged 19 to 50 years.
  • Adult females aged 50 and up: 20 mcg daily
  • 30 mcg daily for pregnant females aged 19 and up.
  • 30 mcg daily for breastfeeding females aged 19 and up.

Supplements for chromium

The majority of studies used 200 mcg chromium 1 to 3 times per day. Some studies on diabetics have used much higher doses. However, scientists are unsure whether those levels are safe to use indefinitely. If you have diabetes, consult your doctor to see if chromium is right for you and what dosage is best for you. A child should not be given chromium supplements.


Because of the risk of side effects and medication interactions, you should only use dietary supplements under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Food containing chromium is generally thought to be safe. Very high doses of this mineral as a supplement can reduce the effectiveness of insulin in controlling blood sugar and cause stomach irritation, itching, and flushing. Too much chromium has also been linked to rare cases of fast, irregular heartbeats and liver problems. The use of chromium picolinate supplements has also been linked to kidney damage.

According to some reports, chromium may aggravate depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. According to other reports, it can help with depression. If you have a mental health condition, consult your doctor before taking chromium.

People who are allergic to chromate or leather may also be allergic to chromium. People with liver or kidney problems, as well as those suffering from anemia, should avoid taking chromium without first consulting their doctors.

The chromium found in foods is not the same as the chromium absorbed by the lungs, digestive tract, mucous membranes, and skin. Industrial chromium is a hazardous substance. People are typically exposed to it when it comes into contact with their skin or when they breathe in dust.

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