Journal article Open Access

Chromium as an Essential Nutrient for Humans

Anderson, Richard A.

Chromium is an essential nutrient required for sugar and fat metabolism. Normal dietary intake of Cr for humans is suboptimal. The estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake for Cr is 50 to 200 μg. However, most diets contain less than 60% of the minimum suggested intake of 50 μg. Insufficient dietary intake of Cr leads to signs and symptoms that are similar to those observed for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Supplemental Cr given to people with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes leads to improved blood glucose, insulin, and lipid variables. Chromium has also been shown to improve lean body mass in humans and swine. Response to Cr is dependent upon form and amount of supplemental Cr. Chromium is a nutrient; therefore, it will only be of benefit to those who are marginally or overtly Cr deficient. Trivalent Cr has a very large safety range and there have been no documented signs of Cr toxicity in any of the nutritional studies at levels up to 1 mg per day.

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