Chromium (Chromium Picolinate)
Chromium is a trace mineral that comes in many chemical forms. It is required for carbohydrate, lipid, protein and corticosteroid metabolism. It helps the body use insulin, a hormone that transfers blood sugar (glucose) to cells where it is burned as fuel. Chromium also helps the body break down protein and fats.
The average diet tends to be low in Chromium. Factors that may exacerbate deficiency include pregnancy, excessive exercise, infection and physical trauma and stress. Diets high in simple sugars have been found to increase urinary chromium excretion up to 30 fold.
Chromium deficiency is relatively rare but has been reported in patients on total parenteral nutrition (Brown et al 1986, Freund et al 1979, Jeejeebhoy et al 1977). It has been hypothesised that poor chromium status contributes to the incidence of impaired glucose tolerance and type II diabetes which has led to interest in a potential role for chromium supplements in type II diabetes.
Chromium deficiency can lead to inefficient use of glucose. Symptoms of deficiency may include anxiety, poor metabolism of amino acids, high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and obesity.
|Age||Adequate Intake (AI)|
|Girls||14 -18 yr||25 mcg/day|
|Boys||14 -18 yr||25 mcg/day|
|Children||9 – 13 yr||25 mcg/day|
|Children||1-8 yr||11 mcg/day|
* Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. National health and Medical Research Council
The UL (Upper level) of intakes for chromium are unknown as there are insufficient data.