Urinary chromium excretion in response to an insulin challenge is not a biomarker for chromium status.
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2013 Apr;152(1):57-65
Authors: Love ST, Di Bona KR, Sinha SH, McAdory D, Skinner BR, Rasco JF, Vincent JB
Over 50 years ago, chromium (Cr) was proposed to be an essential trace element; however, recent studies indicate that this status should be removed as the effects of Cr supplementation appear to be pharmacological rather than nutritional. The pharmacological basis for Cr’s effects can explain the inability of investigators to discover a biomarker for Cr status. One potential biomarker has not been examined to date. Cr is known to be mobilized in the body in response to insulin (or insulin release in response to a glucose challenge), resulting in an increase in urinary Cr excretion. The magnitude of increase in urinary Cr loss as a function of dietary Cr intake was tested as a potential biomarker for Cr. Zucker lean rats housed in carefully controlled metal-free conditions were provided a series of purified diets containing variable Cr contents (from 16 μg/kg diet to 2,000 μg/kg) for 23 weeks. The 16 μg/kg diet contained less Cr than any diet examined to date. Urine samples were collected before and after insulin and glucose challenges (0, 2, 6, and 12 h postinjection). Urinary Cr levels were analyzed by the standard method of addition using graphite furnace atomic absorption. The rate of urinary Cr loss after a glucose or insulin challenge was found to not be dependent on the Cr content of the rats’ diets. Blood iron levels of the rats were also measured to determine if the addition of Cr to the diet altered iron status. The Cr content of the diet was found to have no affect on blood iron levels. Overall, the study demonstrated that insulin-stimulated urinary Cr excretion cannot be used as a biomarker for Cr status.
PMID: 23296902 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]