What is Chromium?

Chromium is an essential nutrient. Primary function is to metabolize sugars and fat. Dietary intake
of chromium by you is often inferior, inadequate dietary intake of chromium leads to type-2 diabetes
mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Chromium functions in metabolism of glucose and insulin through its
role in the enhancement of insulin activity.

Metabolic Functions of “Cr”

The stuff of trivalent chromium in your nutrition was documented in 1977 when diabetic signs and
symptoms of patient are total parental nutrition (TPN) were reverted by chromium supplementation.
Diabetic symptoms including increased blood glucose, loss of weight, impaired nerve condition that are
contrary to exogenous insulin were reverted by increased intake of chromium.
Deficiency symptoms if chromium is improved in glucose or lipid concentration have reported in
children with protein energy malnutrition, old age, and people with type-1 and typr-2 diabetes mellitus and
hypoglycemia. Chromium lowers the blood glucose in you with increased blood sugar and increase in those
with low blood sugar, because its role in neutralizing insulin in presence of chromium in physiological
active form, insulin is more efficient and much less insulin is required. While blood glucose level is
increased, more efficient insulin leads to decrease in blood glucose. The people with low blood sugar, more
efficient insulin leads to quick rise in response to a glucose problem and more rapidly come back to base
line level. This leads to less of decrease in hypoglycemic glucose values.

Chromium and stress

Stresses may occur due to alteration in the chromium metabolism. Your glucose loading, high simple
sugar diets, infection, acute and chronic exercise and urinary losses can be utilized as a measure of the
response to stress. Because once chromium moves in response to stress, kidney does not absorb it. It is lost in the urine. The degree of stress is measured by the stress hormone, “cortisol”, is compared with
the amount of chromium lost in the urine.

Absorption, transportation and storage

Chromium absorbed approximately 0.5 percent daily. Chromium absorbed is transported into tissues.
The tissues with the higher chromium concentration are the kidney, followed by spleen, liver, lungs and
skeletal muscle. The kidney is the site where chromium is stored. It is the best source of insulin potentiating
forms of chromium. Chromium is transported tissues initially bound to “transferrin”. This protein transports
iron. The two metal binding sites of transferrin are iron and chromium transport. The condition in which iron
overloaded i.e.; iron storage disease (hemosiderosis and hemochromatosis); iron occupies all metal transport
sites on transferrin. This may indicate the high incidence of diabetes in hemochromatosis patients that may
be due in part to chromium deficiency.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

❖ 50μg – Adequate intakeNutrient Requirements and Recommended Dietary Allowances for Indians
(ICMR 2010)

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