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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Chromium in the Diet
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Chromium in the Diet

Alternate Names : Chromium Picolinate, Chromium Polynicotinate, Chromium Chloride

Overview & Description | Functions and Sources

Chromium is a trace mineral. This means it is needed in very small amounts. Chromium supplements may be useful in a number of health conditions.


There are many chromium supplements available. Chromium is available in supplements under the names chromium picolinate, chromium polynicotinate, chromium chloride and others. These supplements have gained a great deal of attention as a means to lose weight. More research is needed to confirm any results to date.

The chromium in supplements is found to be mostly safe and consuming harmful amounts from food is very unlikely. However, excess intake can hurt, rather than help, the use of insulin. The greatest benefits of increasing intake of chromium are seen in people who are severely deficient in the mineral. In these cases, it has been shown to improve glucose and insulin function.

People who eat a diet high in sugar and refined foods are more at risk for not getting enough chromium. Sugar increases chromium loss and refined foods are very low in chromium. Athletes may also have increased chromium loss through exercise. Chromium deficiency can resemble diabetes.

There is no Recommended Daily Allowance, called RDA, for chromium. For adults, a safe and healthy amount is between 50 to 200 mcg per day. A mcg is a very small amount equal to a thousandth of a milligram. Even though chromium is needed in only small amounts, it is a key mineral in the body.


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Chromium in the Diet: Functions and Sources

Author: Clare Armstrong, MS, RD
Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 10/14/02

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