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Chromium is a blue-white metallic element found naturally only in combination and used specifically in alloys and in electroplating. [1]


Chromium was discovered by louis-nicholas vauquelin while explore a material known as siberian red lead, likewise referred to as the mineral crocoite (pbcro4), in 1797. He produced chromium oxide (cro3) by blending crocoite with hydrochloric acid (hcl). Although he thought an approach for isolating chromium didn’t yet exist, vauquelin was pleasantly amazed in 1798 to find that he had the ability to get metallic chromium by merely heating chromium oxide in a charcoal oven. Today, chromium is mainly acquired by heating up the mineral chromite (fecr2o4) in the existence of aluminum or silicon.

Chromium is a blue-white metal that is hard, fragile and really deterioration resistant. Chromium can be polished to form a really shiny surface area and is typically 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 that contains a minimum of 10% chromium. Other chromium-steel alloys are utilized to make armor plate, safes, ball bearings and cutting tools.

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

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

Natural abundance

Chromium is found primarily in chromite. This ore is discovered in many places consisting of south africa, india, kazakhstan and turkey. Chromium metal is typically produced by minimizing chromite with carbon in an electric-arc heater, or reducing chromium( iii) oxide with aluminium or silicon. [3]


It might 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 issues with the body’s normal reaction to insulin.

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

One research study found that 16 weeks of 200 μg/ day of chromium was able to lower blood sugar level and insulin while improving the body’s action to insulin.

Other research has revealed that those with greater blood sugar level and lower insulin level of sensitivity may react much better to chromium supplements.

Additionally, in a large study of over 62,000 adults, the probability of having diabetes was 27% lower in those who took dietary supplements including chromium.

Nevertheless, other studies of 3 or more months of chromium supplements have actually disappointed enhanced blood glucose 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 action to insulin.

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

Overall, some benefits of taking these supplements have actually been seen in those with diabetes however not in every circumstances.


For those with diabetes, chromium supplements might work at improving the body’s response to insulin or decreasing blood glucose. Nevertheless, the results have been blended, and these benefits have not normally been observed in those without diabetes.

It might decrease cravings and cravings

Many people who have tried to lose weight and keep it off are familiar with feelings of hunger and strong food cravings.

As a result, numerous are interested in foods, supplements or medications that might help fight these prompts.

Several studies have examined whether chromium picolinate may be useful in this capability.

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

The scientists reported that the results of chromium on the brain may have produced these effects.

Other research has actually taken a look at individuals with binge-eating disorder or anxiety, as these groups could potentially benefit the most from suppressing yearnings or appetite.

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

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

Additionally, a small study observed possible advantages in people suffering from binge-eating disorder.

Specifically, doses of 600 to 1,000 μg/ day may have led to decreases in the frequency of binge consuming episodes and symptoms of anxiety.


Although minimal evidence is offered, some reports indicate that 600 to 1,000 μg/ day of chromium picolinate may help in reducing cravings, yearnings and binge eating in some people.

Does it help you slim down?

Due to chromium’s function in nutrient metabolism and possible results on consuming habits, numerous studies have analyzed whether it is an efficient weight loss supplement.

One large analysis took a look at 9 various studies including 622 overweight or obese people to get a total photo of whether this mineral works for weight loss.

Dosages of as much as 1,000 μg/ day of chromium picolinate were utilized in these research studies.

In general, this research study discovered that chromium picolinate produced extremely small amounts of weight-loss (2.4 pounds or 1.1 kg) after 12 to 16 weeks in overweight or overweight grownups.

However, the scientists concluded that the impact of this quantity of weight loss was doubtful which the effectiveness of the supplement was still unclear.

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

After evaluating 11 different studies, the researchers found weight loss of just 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) with 8 to 26 weeks of chromium supplementation.

Numerous other research studies in healthy grownups have demonstrated no result of this supplement on body composition (body fat and lean mass), even when integrated with exercise.


Based upon existing proof, chromium picolinate is not effective at producing significant weight-loss in overweight or obese individuals. It appears to be even less efficient in normal-weight people, even when combined with exercise.

Food sources

Although chromium picolinate is usually discovered in dietary supplements, numerous foods contain the mineral chromium.

Nevertheless, it is very important to note that the farming and the production processes affect just how much chromium remains in foods.

Because of this, the real chromium material of a specific food can differ, and there is no reliable database of the chromium content of foods. In addition, while various foods contain this mineral, most include extremely percentages (1– 2 μg per serving).

In the united states, the recommended dietary reference consumption (dri) of chromium is 35 μg/ day for adult guys and 25 μg/ day for adult females.

After the age of 50, the advised intake reduces a little to 30 μg/ day for males and 20 μg/ day for women.

Yet it’s important to note that these suggestions were developed using quotes of average consumptions in particular populations. Because of this, they are relatively tentative.

In spite of the uncertainty of the true chromium material of many foods and the tentative consumption suggestions, chromium deficiency appears to be really rare.

In general, meat, whole-grain items and some fruits and vegetables are thought about great sources of chromium.

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

In general, taking in a well balanced diet consisting of a range of minimally processed foods may assist you satisfy your chromium requirements.


Both the true chromium material of foods and the suggested consumption of this mineral are tentative. Nevertheless, chromium is found in low levels in various foods, and shortage is rare.

Should you take chromium supplements?

Due to the important functions of chromium in the body, lots of have actually questioned if consuming additional chromium as a dietary supplement is a health technique.

There is not a specific upper limit for chromium.

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

However, in addition to examining possible benefits of a specific nutrient, it is also crucial to think about whether there are any risks to consuming excessive.

The nationwide academy of medicine typically sets a tolerable upper consumption level (ul) for specific nutrients. Surpassing this level may cause toxicity or other illness.

Nevertheless, due to limited offered info, no ul has actually been set for chromium (20 ).

Security of chromium picolinate

Regardless of the absence of an official ul, some scientists have questioned whether chromium picolinate, the kind of the mineral frequently found in supplements, is actually safe.

Based on how this type of chromium is processed in the body, harmful particles called hydroxyl radicals may be produced.

These molecules can damage your genetic product (dna) and trigger other problems.

Surprisingly, although picolinate is a popular form of chromium supplement, these unfavorable results in the body might just take place when this type is ingested.

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

Other isolated health issue have actually been related to the intake of this supplement. [4]

How can chromium help with weight loss?

There are individuals who workout and see little to no outcomes. Your exercise routine may not be the cause. There may be a much deeper cause at the cellular level.

One typical problem is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can cause a prediabetic state and eventually type 2 diabetes. One of the significant causes is the lack of chromium in the diet.

A healthy diet constantly accompanies an exercise regimen. It is fantastic to be healthy. More significantly, it is necessary to supply the nutrients your body requirements.

When the body has the appropriate nutritional balance, it can perform at optimal levels. Great fuel helps to fix the muscles. It can likewise decrease appetite. Getting the correct nutrients might cause the body to stop looking for food to fill deep space.

Chromium is one of the vital nutrients that the body needs. Consuming healthy food is great. It is pointless if the body is unable to use it for energy. Chromium has a particular job to do with this process.

When we eat our digestive 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 into the bloodstream to feed our cells.

The pancreas produces insulin to help the cells absorb the glucose. The job of insulin is to get the glucose out of the blood stream inside the cell. More glucose in the blood stream increases the quantity of insulin required to process it. Insulin spikes occur whenever we eat to control the amount of glucose in our distributing through the blood.

Excessive glucose in the blood can cause damage to the capillary. It causes oxidative tension. This type of damage may lead to atherosclerosis. It is the reason that persons with diabetes are at an increased threat of heart disease and stroke.

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

Insulin and chromium deal with other elements to prevent such damage. They both need to function correctly to prevent the destruction that complimentary glucose might trigger. They depend upon each other to finish the job.

Once the glucose lines up with a cell, it waits to go into. The insulin occurs and opens the door so that the glucose can go into. It is at this minute that chromium goes to work.

Chromium binds to the glucose transporter and pushes the glucose into the door. If there is no chromium or not enough in the body, the glucose simply continues to sit at the door. It floats around the bloodstream waiting to enter. The body will ultimately downgrade the receptor.

When more food is ingested, more glucose is made. The issue is intensified. The body believes it does not have sufficient insulin to unlock for the glucose. The pancreas receives the signal. It makes more.

The boost of insulin in the blood stream sends out a signal that increases the need for more glucose. The individual longs for sugar to correct the balance. When more sugar is consumed, more insulin is produced.

It is a vicious circle. Insulin resistance is a relentless problem with little to no symptoms. It might take a very long time prior to the individual understands there is an issue.

The excess insulin in the body performs another job. If the amount of glucose is not decreased by its presence, insulin instructs the body to keep it as fat. It is insulin that keeps watch over the fat storage and signals when to release it.

The right quantity of chromium in the body might avoid this vicious cycle from the beginning. If chromium were offered, then the insulin would open the door and chromium would help in accompanying it inside. There the glucose would sustain the cells the way it was designed.

The insulin would lower in the blood stream since the glucose level would hang back to regular. The yearning for sugar and carbohydrates would decrease, and weight reduction might happen. [5]

How much chromium do our bodies routinely require?

The adequate consumption (ai) of chromium, or the suggested level that healthy people should take in usually, ranges from about 20 to 45 micrograms (mcg) daily for adults, keeps in mind torey armul, rd, a representative for the academy of nutrition and dietetics. “however there’s not enough established research study to set a suggested daily allowance for it,” she states. The daily ai for chromium, which is identified by the nationwide academies of sciences, engineering, and medication, varies, depending on age and gender.

  • Babies ages 0 to 13 months: 2 to 5.5 mcg (micrograms)
  • Kid ages 1 to 3 years: 11 mcg
  • Kids ages 4 to 8 years: 15 mcg
  • Kids ages 9 to 18 years: 25 to 35 mcg
  • Girls ages 9 to 18 years: 21 to 24 mcg
  • Male 19 to 50 years: 35 mcg
  • Women 19 to 50 years: 25 mcg
  • Guy over 50: 30 mcg
  • Women over 50: 20 mcg

According to the nationwide institutes of health, adult ladies, usually, take in 23 to 29 mcg of chromium a day, which usually fulfills their ai. Nevertheless, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your typical intake of chromium need to be in between 30 and 45 mcg a day. Adult men, 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 necessary– the body can’t process it efficiently. “with dietary intakes at this greater level, chromium absorption plateaus and urinary excretion boosts,” says majumdar. Excretion of the mineral likewise goes up with laborious exercise, the existence of infection, pregnancy, lactation, and with an increase in the intake of easy sugars, she adds.

In the same way that insufficient evidence avoids the setting of an advised dietary allowance for this nutrient, there isn’t a bearable upper limit (ul) for chromium, reports king. In fact, there are couple of adverse effects linked to high chromium intakes, includes armul. “chromium toxicity tends to be quite rare among those taking it and any associated risks are seen in commercial settings,” explains king. Chromium is found in both a biologic kind in food (trivalent or chromium 3+) and hexavalent (chromium 6+), which is the harmful version released by industrial contamination.

What are the signs of chromium shortage?

Taking in too little chromium can result in a series of signs, consisting of some that simulate those of diabetes, such as weight loss, impaired glucose tolerance, neuropathy, stress and anxiety, tiredness and muscle weak point, discusses majumdar. Luckily, chromium shortage is very uncommon and has actually primarily been documented in individuals who are fed through nutritional support. To resolve this shortfall, chromium has actually been contributed to intravenous (iv) solutions, she includes.

” there’s some thought that the senior may need more chromium in their everyday diet plans, however presently this is just a hypothesis,” states king. It’s hard to identify who may be at threat for insufficient chromium as there isn’t a reliable lab test of biochemical markers that measure the body’s shops. “it’s tough to assess this mineral in people due to the fact that blood levels aren’t reflective of real quantities because the body has its own chromium storage,” says majumdar. Chromium is stored in the liver, spleen, soft tissue, and bones. (1 ).

Foods that are naturally abundant in chromium

The main factor chromium shortage is so uncommon is that this nutrient is discovered in an abundance of fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat– and even in red wine. Good sources of chromium consist of broccoli, green beans, potatoes, apples, bananas, entire grains, peas, cheese, corn, grapes, beef, and poultry. “you can also get chromium from garlic, basil, turkey, sweet potatoes, english muffins, and waffles,” keeps in mind king. For the most focused food source of chromium, want to brewer’s yeast (1 tablespoon contains as much as 60 mcg), adds majumdar.

Diets that are high in basic sugars– in which easy sugars make up more than 35 percent of calorie intake– can reduce absorption of chromium. Since the absorption of chromium from the intestinal tracts is small, you may try to improve this procedure by targeting the way you eat. Vegetables and fruits with vitamin c and niacin, a b vitamin discovered in meat, poultry, fish, and grains, can improve chromium absorption. [6]

Chromium side effects

Chromium is likely safe for short-term oral supplements in an everyday dosage of approximately 1,000 mcg (1 mg). Possible negative effects are mild and consist of:.

  1. Headaches
  2. Sleep disruptions
  3. Irritability and state of mind modifications

It is safe kids and pregnant ladies in the quantities generally present in food. Supplements with greater amounts might likewise be safe in these delicate groups, but they should utilize them under stringent medical supervision. [7]
There are few known adverse effects of chromium supplements. In sensible doses, there does not appear to be any concern for major side effects.

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

Special safety measures and warnings

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

Breast-feeding: chromium is most likely safe when taken by mouth in quantities that do not go beyond ai levels. The ai for those 14-18 years old is 44 mcg daily. For those 19-50 years old, it is 45 mcg daily. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if taking greater amounts of chromium is safe when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick with amounts below the ai.

Children: chromium is most 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 old, it is 35 mcg. For women 9-13 years old, it is 21 mcg; for females 14-18 years old, it is 24 mcg. Taking chromium in quantities above the ai level is potentially safe for most kids.

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


Chromium is a necessary mineral, consumed through the diet plan. It is found in trace quantities in plant products, particularly grains.

Chromium manages insulin in the body. It is in some cases supplemented to improve insulin action in the body.

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

Individuals with a subclinical chromium deficiency (listed below optimal, however not a true deficiency) may experience advantages when supplementing chromium, but more research study is required to verify this effect. Real chromium deficiencies, identified by inactive chromodulin, are rare.

Chromium’s primary system is directly tied to chromodulin. Chromodulin, a protein, normally augments the signaling of insulin receptors. If this protein is impaired, insulin’s capability to work in the body is greatly lowered.

Though chromium supplements is not effective for diabetics, taking chromium together with a proven therapy might help combat depression and the snacking associated with binge consuming. More research study is required to figure out chromium’s exact system during these impacts. [10]


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