Chromium is a blue-white metallic element found naturally just in combination and utilized especially in alloys and in electroplating. [1]


Chromium was discovered by louis-nicholas vauquelin while explore a material called siberian red lead, also referred to as the mineral crocoite (pbcro4), in 1797. He produced chromium oxide (cro3) by mixing crocoite with hydrochloric acid (hcl). Although he believed a technique for isolating chromium didn’t yet exist, vauquelin was happily shocked in 1798 to find that he had the ability to acquire metal chromium by simply warming chromium oxide in a charcoal oven. Today, chromium is mostly obtained by heating the mineral chromite (fecr2o4) in the existence of aluminum or silicon.

Chromium is a blue-white metal that is hard, fragile and extremely corrosion resistant. Chromium can be polished to form a really glossy surface and is frequently plated to other metals to form a protective and appealing covering. Chromium is contributed to steel to solidify it and to form stainless-steel, a steel alloy which contains a minimum of 10% chromium. Other chromium-steel alloys are utilized to make armor plate, safes, ball bearings and cutting tools.

Chromium forms lots of colorful compounds that have industrial uses. Lead chromate (pbcro4), likewise known as chrome yellow, has been used as a yellow pigment in paints. Chromic oxide (cr2o3), also known as chrome green, is the ninth most abundant compound in the earth’s crust and is a widely used green pigment. Rubies and emeralds likewise owe their colors to chromium compounds. Potassium dichromate (k2cr2o7) is used in the tanning of leather while other chromium compounds are utilized as mordants, products which completely repair dyes to materials. Chromium compounds are likewise utilized to anodize aluminum, a process which coats aluminum with a thick, protective layer of oxide. Chromite, chromium’s main ore, is utilized to make molds for the shooting of bricks because of its high melting point, moderate thermal growth and steady crystal structure.

  • Estimated crustal abundance: 1.02 × 102 milligrams per kilogram
  • Approximated oceanic abundance: 3 × 10-4 milligrams per liter
  • Variety of stable isotopes: 3 (view all isotope information)
  • Ionization energy: 6.767 ev
  • Oxidation states: +6, +3, +2 [2]

Natural abundance

Chromium is found generally in chromite. This ore is discovered in lots of locations consisting of south africa, india, kazakhstan and turkey. Chromium metal is normally produced by minimizing chromite with carbon in an electric-arc furnace, or minimizing chromium( iii) oxide with aluminium or silicon. [3]


It may enhance blood sugar level

In healthy people, the hormone insulin has a crucial function in signifying the body to bring blood sugar into the cells of the body.

In individuals with diabetes, there are problems with the body’s regular action to insulin.

Numerous studies have shown that taking chromium supplements can enhance blood sugar level for those with diabetes.

One study discovered that 16 weeks of 200 μg/ day of chromium was able to lower blood sugar and insulin while enhancing the body’s response to insulin.

Other research study has shown that those with greater blood glucose and lower insulin level of sensitivity might react better to chromium supplements.

In addition, in a large study of over 62,000 grownups, the possibility of having diabetes was 27% lower in those who took dietary supplements including chromium.

However, other studies of three or more months of chromium supplementation have actually disappointed enhanced blood sugar level in grownups with type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, research in obese grownups without diabetes found that 1,000 μg/ day of chromium picolinate did not improve the body’s response to insulin.

In fact, a big assessment of 425 healthy people found that chromium supplements did not change sugar or insulin levels.

In general, some advantages of taking these supplements have been seen in those with diabetes however not in every instance.


For those with diabetes, chromium supplements may be effective at enhancing the body’s response to insulin or lowering blood sugar. Nevertheless, the outcomes have actually been blended, and these benefits have not typically been observed in those without diabetes.

It may lower appetite and yearnings

The majority of people who have actually tried to lose weight and keep it off recognize with feelings of appetite and strong food cravings.

As a result, many have an interest in foods, supplements or medications that might help fight these prompts.

Several research studies have actually examined whether chromium picolinate might be useful in this capacity.

In an 8-week research study, 1,000 μg/ day of chromium (in the form of chromium picolinate) lowered food consumption, cravings and cravings in healthy overweight females.

The scientists reported that the impacts of chromium on the brain might have produced these results.

Other research has actually taken a look at individuals with binge-eating condition or depression, as these groups might possibly benefit the most from suppressing cravings or hunger.

An 8-week study assigned 113 people with depression to get either 600 μg/ day of chromium in the form of chromium picolinate or a placebo.

The researchers found that appetite and yearnings were reduced with chromium picolinate supplements, compared to the placebo.

Additionally, a little study observed possible advantages in people struggling with binge-eating disorder.

Specifically, doses of 600 to 1,000 μg/ day may have resulted in reductions in the frequency of binge consuming episodes and signs of anxiety.


Although limited evidence is offered, some reports suggest that 600 to 1,000 μg/ day of chromium picolinate might help in reducing cravings, yearnings and binge eating in some individuals.

Does it assist you slim down?

Due to chromium’s function in nutrient metabolism and possible effects on eating behavior, several studies have actually analyzed whether it is a reliable weight-loss supplement.

One large analysis took a look at 9 various research studies consisting of 622 obese or obese individuals to get a complete picture of whether this mineral works for weight reduction.

Dosages of up to 1,000 μg/ day of chromium picolinate were used in these studies.

Overall, this research study discovered that chromium picolinate produced very percentages of weight-loss (2.4 pounds or 1.1 kg) after 12 to 16 weeks in overweight or overweight grownups.

However, the researchers concluded that the effect of this quantity of weight loss was doubtful and that the effectiveness of the supplement was still unclear.

Another thorough analysis of offered research study on chromium and weight reduction pertained to a comparable conclusion.

After analyzing 11 various research studies, the researchers found weight loss of just 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) with 8 to 26 weeks of chromium supplements.

Various other research studies in healthy grownups have actually shown no effect of this supplement on body structure (body fat and lean mass), even when integrated with exercise.


Based upon current evidence, chromium picolinate is ineffective at producing significant weight-loss in overweight or obese people. It appears to be even less effective in normal-weight individuals, even when combined with workout.

Food sources

Although chromium picolinate is usually discovered in dietary supplements, many foods include the mineral chromium.

Nevertheless, it is very important to keep in mind that the farming and the manufacturing processes impact just how much chromium is in foods.

Because of this, the actual chromium material of a specific food can differ, and there is no reliable database of the chromium material of foods. Additionally, while several foods contain this mineral, the majority of contain very percentages (1– 2 μg per serving).

In the united states, the recommended dietary referral consumption (dri) of chromium is 35 μg/ day for adult males and 25 μg/ day for adult ladies.

After the age of 50, the recommended consumption reduces a little to 30 μg/ day for guys and 20 μg/ day for ladies.

Yet it is very important to keep in mind that these suggestions were established using quotes of typical consumptions in specific populations. Because of this, they are relatively tentative.

Regardless of the unpredictability of the true chromium material of a lot of foods and the tentative intake recommendations, chromium shortage appears to be extremely uncommon.

In general, meat, whole-grain products and some fruits and vegetables are considered great sources of chromium.

Some research study has actually reported that broccoli is high in chromium, with roughly 11 μg per 1/2 cup, while oranges and apples may consist of around 6 μg per serving.

In general, consuming a balanced diet consisting of a variety of minimally processed foods may assist you fulfill your chromium requirements.


Both the true chromium content of foods and the advised intake of this mineral are tentative. Nevertheless, chromium is discovered in low levels in several foods, and deficiency is rare.

Should you take chromium supplements?

Due to the essential functions of chromium in the body, numerous have wondered if consuming additional chromium as a dietary supplement is a good health method.

There is not a particular upper limit for chromium.

Numerous studies have actually taken a look at the results of chromium on blood sugar level control and weight-loss.

Nevertheless, in addition to analyzing possible advantages of a specific nutrient, it is likewise crucial to think about whether there are any risks to consuming excessive.

The nationwide academy of medicine typically sets a bearable upper consumption level (ul) for particular nutrients. Surpassing this level might result in toxicity or other health problems.

However, due to limited available info, no ul has been set for chromium (20 ).

Safety of chromium picolinate

Despite the lack of a formal ul, some scientists have actually questioned whether chromium picolinate, the type of the mineral frequently discovered in supplements, is really safe.

Based upon how this kind of chromium is processed in the body, damaging molecules called hydroxyl radicals might be produced.

These molecules can harm your genetic product (dna) and trigger other issues.

Remarkably, although picolinate is an incredibly popular form of chromium supplement, these negative results in the body might only occur when this form is consumed.

In addition to these concerns, a case study reported serious kidney problems in a lady who took 1,200 to 2,400 μg/ day of chromium picolinate for the purpose of weight-loss.

Other separated health issue have actually been connected with the intake of this supplement. [4]

How can chromium aid with weight-loss?

There are people who exercise and see little to no results. Your exercise regimen might not be the cause. There might be a deeper cause at the cellular level.

One common problem is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can lead to a prediabetic state and eventually type 2 diabetes. Among the significant causes is the lack of chromium in the diet plan.

A healthy diet plan constantly accompanies a workout program. It is great to be healthy. More significantly, it is vital to supply the nutrients your body needs.

When the body has the correct dietary balance, it can perform at optimal levels. Great fuel assists to repair the muscles. It can likewise reduce hunger. Getting the appropriate nutrients might cause the body to stop looking for food to fill deep space.

Chromium is one of the essential nutrients that the body requires. Consuming healthy food is good. It is pointless if the body is not able to utilize it for energy. Chromium has a particular job to do with this procedure.

When we eat our digestion system turns the food into glucose. The glucose is the primary fuel source of every cell in our bodies. Once it is broken down, it is then sent out into the blood stream to feed our cells.

The pancreas produces insulin to assist the cells absorb the glucose. The task of insulin is to get the glucose out of the blood stream inside the cell. More glucose in the bloodstream increases the amount of insulin needed to process it. Insulin spikes take place whenever we eat to control the amount of glucose in our distributing through the blood.

Too much glucose in the blood can cause damage to the capillary. It causes oxidative stress. This type of damage might result in atherosclerosis. It is the reason that persons with diabetes are at an increased threat of heart disease and stroke.

Excess circulatory glucose may likewise damage nerves. It is the factor that persons with unrestrained diabetes experiences neuropathy. The glucose cuts off the ability nerves’ capability to send signals.

Insulin and chromium work with other elements to prevent such damage. They both must work effectively to prevent the damage that complimentary glucose might trigger. They depend upon each other to do the job.

When the glucose lines up with a cell, it waits to enter. The insulin comes along and unlocks so that the glucose can go into. It is at this minute that chromium goes to work.

Chromium binds to the glucose transporter and presses the glucose into the door. If there is no chromium or not enough in the body, the glucose just continues to sit at the door. It floats around the blood stream waiting to get in. The body will ultimately downgrade the receptor.

When more food is consumed, more glucose is made. The problem is compounded. The body believes it does not have sufficient insulin to unlock for the glucose. The pancreas gets the signal. It makes more.

The increase of insulin in the blood stream sends a signal that increases the need for more glucose. The individual craves sugar to correct the balance. When more sugar is eaten, more insulin is produced.

It is a vicious circle. Insulin resistance is a relentless issue with little to no symptoms. It may take a long period of time prior to the individual knows there is a problem.

The excess insulin in the body performs another task. If the quantity of glucose is not reduced by its existence, insulin advises the body to keep it as fat. It is insulin that watches the fat storage and signals when to release it.

The appropriate quantity of chromium in the body might avoid this vicious cycle from the beginning. If chromium were readily available, then the insulin would open the door and chromium would assist in escorting it inside. There the glucose would fuel the cells the method it was developed.

The insulin would decrease in the bloodstream because the glucose level would hang back to regular. The yearning for sugar and carbohydrates would subside, and weight-loss may take place. [5]

Just how much chromium do our bodies routinely need?

The adequate intake (ai) of chromium, or the recommended level that healthy people ought to take in usually, ranges from about 20 to 45 micrograms (mcg) per day for adults, keeps in mind torey armul, rd, a representative for the academy of nutrition and dietetics. “but there’s not enough recognized research study to set an advised daily allowance for it,” she says. The everyday ai for chromium, which is determined by the nationwide academies of sciences, engineering, and medicine, differs, depending upon age and gender.

  • Infants ages 0 to 13 months: 2 to 5.5 mcg (micrograms)
  • Children ages 1 to 3 years: 11 mcg
  • Kids ages 4 to 8 years: 15 mcg
  • Young boys ages 9 to 18 years: 25 to 35 mcg
  • Women ages 9 to 18 years: 21 to 24 mcg
  • Men 19 to 50 years: 35 mcg
  • Ladies 19 to 50 years: 25 mcg
  • Men over 50: 30 mcg
  • Women over 50: 20 mcg

According to the nationwide institutes of health, adult ladies, on average, consume 23 to 29 mcg of chromium a day, which generally fulfills their ai. Nevertheless, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your average intake of chromium should be between 30 and 45 mcg a day. Adult guys, on the other hand, get more than their ai for this nutrient, balancing 39 to 54 mcg a day.

Excessive chromium (more than 40 mcg a day) isn’t required– the body can’t process it efficiently. “with dietary consumptions at this higher level, chromium absorption plateaus and urinary excretion boosts,” states majumdar. Excretion of the mineral likewise increases with laborious workout, the presence of infection, pregnancy, lactation, and with a boost in the intake of simple sugars, she includes.

In the same way that inadequate evidence prevents the setting of an advised dietary allowance for this nutrient, there isn’t a tolerable ceiling (ul) for chromium, reports king. In fact, there are couple of side effects linked to high chromium intakes, adds armul. “chromium toxicity tends to be rather rare amongst those taking it and any associated risks are seen in commercial settings,” discusses king. Chromium is discovered in both a biologic kind in food (trivalent or chromium 3+) and hexavalent (chromium 6+), which is the toxic variation emitted by commercial contamination.

What are the signs of chromium shortage?

Consuming too little chromium can lead to a series of signs, consisting of some that mimic those of diabetes, such as weight loss, impaired glucose tolerance, neuropathy, anxiety, fatigue and muscle weak point, explains majumdar. Fortunately, chromium shortage is very unusual and has mostly been recorded in people who are fed through nutritional support. To address this shortfall, chromium has been contributed to intravenous (iv) solutions, she includes.

” there’s some thought that the senior might need more chromium in their day-to-day diets, but presently this is simply a hypothesis,” states king. It’s challenging to determine who might be at threat for insufficient chromium as there isn’t a trusted laboratory test of biochemical markers that measure the body’s stores. “it’s hard to assess this mineral in individuals since blood levels aren’t reflective of true quantities given that the body has its own chromium storage,” says majumdar. Chromium is saved in the liver, spleen, soft tissue, and bones. (1 ).

Foods that are naturally rich in chromium

The main reason chromium shortage is so uncommon is that this nutrient is found in an abundance of fruits, veggies, grains, and meat– and even in white wine. Excellent sources of chromium consist of broccoli, green beans, potatoes, apples, bananas, whole grains, peas, cheese, corn, grapes, beef, and poultry. “you can also get chromium from garlic, basil, turkey, sweet potatoes, english muffins, and waffles,” notes king. For the most focused food source of chromium, want to maker’s yeast (1 tablespoon consists of as much as 60 mcg), adds majumdar.

Diet plans that are high in simple sugars– in which easy sugars comprise more than 35 percent of calorie intake– can lower absorption of chromium. Due to the fact that the absorption of chromium from the intestinal tracts is little, you may try to improve this process by targeting the way you consume. Fruits and vegetables with vitamin c and niacin, a b vitamin found in meat, poultry, fish, and grains, can enhance chromium absorption. [6]

Chromium side effects

Chromium is most likely safe for short-term oral supplements in an everyday dose of up to 1,000 mcg (1 mg). Possible negative effects are moderate and include:.

  1. Headaches
  2. Sleep disturbances
  3. Irritation and mood changes

It is safe children and pregnant ladies in the quantities generally present in food. Supplements with greater quantities might also be safe in these delicate groups, but they ought to utilize them under strict medical supervision. [7]
There are few recognized side effects of chromium supplements. In sensible doses, there does not seem any issue for serious negative effects.

Nevertheless, there have been isolated reports of unfavorable adverse effects when chromium is taken in large dosages. Diarrhea, headaches, hives, and vertigo, have been revealed to happen when the supplement is taken in dosages of in between 1,200 and 2,400 micrograms (mcg) daily for 4 months. [8]

Special safety measures and warnings

Pregnancy: chromium is most likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts that do not surpass sufficient intake (ai) levels. The ai for those 14-18 years old is 28 mcg daily. For those 19-50 years of ages, it is 30 mcg daily. Chromium is perhaps safe to utilize in amounts higher than the ai levels while pregnant. But do not take chromium supplements during pregnancy unless recommended to do so by a doctor.

Breast-feeding: chromium is most likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts that do not exceed ai levels. The ai for those 14-18 years old is 44 mcg daily. For those 19-50 years of ages, it is 45 mcg daily. There isn’t sufficient dependable details to understand if taking greater quantities of chromium is safe when breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and stick to quantities listed below the ai.

Children: chromium is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts that don’t exceed ai levels. For those 0-6 months old, it is 0.2 mcg; for those 7-12 months old, it is 5.5 mcg; for those 1-3 years old, it is 11 mcg; for those 4-8 years old, it is 15 mcg. For males 9-13 years of ages, it is 25 mcg; for males 14-18 years of ages, it is 35 mcg. For females 9-13 years of ages, it is 21 mcg; for females 14-18 years old, it is 24 mcg. Taking chromium in amounts above the ai level is possibly safe for the majority of kids.

Behavioral or psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia: chromium might impact brain chemistry and might make behavioral or psychiatric conditions worse. [9]


Chromium is a vital mineral, taken in through the diet plan. It is discovered in trace quantities in plant items, particularly grains.

Chromium manages insulin in the body. It is sometimes supplemented to enhance insulin action in the body.

When chromium is supplemented by individuals with typical or raised chromium levels, no dependable result is achieved. Besides a mild decline in fasting glucose, no diabetes-related biomarkers are enhanced.

People with a subclinical chromium deficiency (below ideal, but not a true shortage) may experience benefits when supplementing chromium, however more research study is required to verify this impact. True chromium deficiencies, characterized by non-active chromodulin, are unusual.

Chromium’s main mechanism is straight tied to chromodulin. Chromodulin, a protein, generally enhances the signaling of insulin receptors. If this protein is impaired, insulin’s ability to work in the body is greatly minimized.

Though chromium supplements is ineffective for diabetics, taking chromium together with a tested treatment may assist fight anxiety and the snacking connected with binge eating. Additional research study is needed to figure out chromium’s precise mechanism during these impacts. [10]


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