Chromium is present in food in the form of trivalent chromium or chromium (III). Most of chromium’s compounds are soluble when exposed to stomach acids. The digestive tract environment and other foods and supplements are important factors in chromium absorption.
Chromium is a micronutrient, or small molecule, that is necessary for various reactions occurring inside the body.
What does chromium do?
Adequate Intake (AI) of Chromium:
Source: Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, 2002.
Chromium is well distributed throughout foods, but a number of foods provide less than one to two ug of chromium per serving. Processing can increase or decrease the chromium content in food. Refined cereal products contain less chromium than whole grain cereal products. Conversely, acidic foods, when processed or handled with stainless steel kitchen utensils, have a higher chromium concentration.
The foods highest in chromium are brewer’s yeast and calf liver.
Food Sources for Chromium:
Source: DRIs, Dietary Reference Intakes, 2006, p. 299.
Chromium deficiency is very rare but may be observed in:
*People who are fed through a stomach tube systematically receive a chromium-enriched nutritive solution to prevent long term deficiency, which could lead to diabetic symptoms.
Signs of chromium deficiency: Chromium deficiency manifests as problems in the metabolism of sugars and fats:
Ingested chromium has low toxicity, which can be partially explained by its low rate of absorption.
Signs of chromium excess:
Little information is available to measure adverse reactions from excess chromium. Great caution is therefore recommended, especially in those suffering from:
Natural health products and vitamin supplements:
***Speak with your pharmacist if you plan to take chromium supplements. Your pharmacist can help you choose the solution that’s best for you based on your health and any drugs you take.
Chromium, Trivalent chromium, Chromium chloride, Chromium picolinate, Active chromium, Brewer’s yeast chromium, Chromium nicotinate