Chromium - Promotes Glucose Tolerance

Information on Deficiency, Benefits, Food Sources

Chromium is present in traces in all organic matter and seems to be an essential mineral. Chromium levels are higher in infants than in adults. The total body content of chromium in adults is 5 to 10 mg. As a person grows older, he is able to retain less chromium in the body. The concentration in human tissues varies greatly in different parts of the world, depending on dietary habits and on the amount of chromium in water supplies.

Chromium is a greyish-white metallic element. Little is known about the chemical forms in which it occurs in individual foods.

Most of the intake of chromium is not absorbed and urinary excretion is low.

Recommended Daily Allowance - Chromium
Men 50-200 mcg
Women 50-200 mcg
Children 20-200 mcg
Infants 10-60 mcg

Chromium Benefits - Functions in the Body

Chromium Benefits

Chromium plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It works with insulin in the metabolism of sugar. It seems to increase the effectiveness of insulin, thereby facilitating the transport of glucose into the cells and not allowing the blood glucose levels to rise. It helps to take protein where it is needed and also aids in growth.

Chromium has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. It also works as a preventive against diabetes. Studies have also found that chromium supplements control total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and raise the HDL (the good cholesterol).

Chromium Rich Food Sources

The main food sources of chromium are betel leaves, arecanut, and nuts.

Chromium Deficiency Symptoms

A deficiency of chromium can cause impairment of glucose tolerance, which can lead to diabetes. It is also a suspected factor in arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In some areas, protein-energy malnutrition appears to be associated with chromium deficiency.

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