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Chromium (CR) is a trace mineral that was discovered in the 1950s to be important to our health. It is a regulator of blood sugar levels and has been used to treat diabetes.

What are the functions of chromium?

Chromium functions include:

What are the symptoms and signs of a chromium deficiency?

These include:

Food sources of chromium

The following foods are good sources of chromium: liver, whole grain cereals, meat, cheese, brewer's yeast, molasses, mushrooms and egg yolk.

Therapeutic uses of chromium

Chromium is used in the treatment of:


About 100 to 200mcg is considered to be sufficient for most people.

Special notes

Toxicity is rare as less than 10% of the chromium taken into the body is actually absorbed.

Some people experience troubling dreams when taking chromium supplements.

People who experience mood swings associated with drops in their blood sugar levels may benefit from chromium.

Dieters may benefit from chromium as it will assist in the control of the appetite.

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Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

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The body requires chromium, magnesium and vitamin B complex in order to metabolize blood sugars and a diet that has excessive sugar intake will quickly use the supplies of these nutrients.

There is some evidence that the Western diet that is high in sugar and fats may be substantially lacking in chromium. This may be the cause of a number of common health problems.