Chromium is an essential element necessary for sugar metabolism via the production of insulin. We also believe it plays a role in the breakdown of protein and fats for energy. Chromium is virtually always lost in the process of refining foods like whole grains and natural sugars. Therefore, eating refined foods does not give one the essential minerals to properly process these foods. The body rapidly converts refined sugar and grain (white flour) to glucose. Any unused glucose will be converted to fat. This is the main cause of the obesity epidemic in this country. In any refining process we essentially removed most of the elements from our foods that nature intended we have in order to properly metabolize them. Chromium is one such mineral lost in the refining process.
In the scientific community, there is a rapidly growing recognition of the importance of chromium to good health. In particular, the link between chromium and insulin function has become increasingly significant in metabolic research. As scientists have begun to understand the role of insulin in many of the body’s major functions, they have turned to chromium, a co-factor of insulin, to help treat insulin malfunction.
Much of the research cited herein will be found on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine. PubMed includes over 15 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.
The following references have become outdated or may have been superseded by newer science-based publications. Nonetheless, they remain relevant and considered critical information resources. Click on the name of the author to read the publication.
Anderson RA. Chromium in the prevention and control of diabetes. Diabetes Metab 2000. Feb;26(1):22-7.
Anderson RA, et al. Elevated intakes of supplemental chromium improves glucose and insulin variables in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 1997 Nov;46(11):1786-91.
Abraham AS, et al. The effects of chromium supplementation on serum glucose and lipids in patients with and without non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Metabolism 1992 Jul;41(7):768-71.
Rabinowitz et al. Effects of chromium and yeast supplements on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic men. Diabetes Care 1983 Jul-Aug;6(4):319-27.
Uusitupa MI, et al. Effect of inorganic chromium supplementation on glucose tolerance, insulin response, and serum lipids in noninsulin-dependent diabetics. Am J Clin Nutr 1983 Sep;38(3):404-10.
Hallmark MA, et al. Effects of chromium and resistive training on muscle strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exer 1996 Jan;28(1):139-44.
Wilson BE, Gondy A. Effects of chromium supplementation on fasting insulin levels and lipid parameters in healthy, non-obese young subjects. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1995 Jun;28(3):179-84.
Lee NA, Reasner CA. Beneficial effect of chromium supplementation on serum triglyceride levels in NIDDM. Diabetes Care 1994 Dec;17(12):1449-52.
Trow LG, et al. Lack of effect of dietary chromium supplementation on glucose tolerance, plasma insulin and lipoprotein levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2000 Jan;70(1):14-8.