Chromium enables insulin (which controls blood sugar levels) to function and helps in the processing (metabolism) and storage of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. However, it is not clear whether chromium should be considered an essential (required) trace element. Experts have not yet determined whether chromium supplements are useful for people with diabetes Diabetes Mellitus (DM) Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body does not produce enough or respond normally to insulin, causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to be abnormally high. Urination and thirst are... read more . People with diabetes should not take chromium supplements unless they are supervised by a diabetes expert.
Only a small amount of the chromium in food is absorbed. Chromium is absorbed better when eaten with foods that contain vitamin C Vitamin C Deficiency In countries with low rates of food insecurity, vitamin C deficiency can occur from a diet low in vitamin C, but severe deficiency (causing scurvy) is uncommon. Not eating enough fresh fruits... read more or niacin Niacin Deficiency Niacin deficiency (causing pellagra) is uncommon in countries with low rates of food insecurity. Many people with niacin deficiency also have deficiencies of protein, riboflavin (a B vitamin)... read more .
Chromium supplements do not enhance muscle size or strength.
Symptoms of chromium deficiency may include weight loss, confusion, impaired coordination, and a reduced response to sugar (glucose) in blood, increasing the risk of diabetes.
Treatment of chromium deficiency may involve chromium supplements.
(See also Overview of Minerals Overview of Minerals Minerals are necessary for the normal functioning of the body’s cells. The body needs relatively large quantities of Calcium Chloride Magnesium Phosphate read more .)
The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
United States Department of Agriculture: Chromium: General information about chromium, including information on dietary sources and supplements