Chromium (Cr)

Atomic Number: 24 Atomic Mass: 51.996

Why and How Much?

Chromium is essential to the human body because it helps control how insulin helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that is used by the body to change starches, sugars and other food into energy. It is recommended that infants from 0-6 months, get 0.2 micro grams daily. RDA's for infants 7-12 months are 5.5 mcg/day. For children 1-3 years, it is recommended that they get 11 mcg/day, but children 4-8 years are expected to need 15 mcg/day. Kids 9-13 need between 21-25 mcg daily. For teenagers and young adults aged 14-18 years, the RDA's are 24-35 micro grams daily. Adult men and women need between 20-25 micro grams daily, if they are younger than fifty years old. For adults over the age of 50, RDA's return back to 20-25 mcg/day. In all cases, males need the higher amount of the RDA and females need the lesser amount.

Where Can Chromium be Found?

Chromium can be found in many different foods including, but not limited to: broccoli, grape juice, mashed potatoes, lean meats, cheeses, whole grain breads and cereal, molasses, spices, mushrooms, oatmeal, asparagus, nuts, and prunes. Having too much chromium in the body is very rare, and there are almost no adverse side effects from it. Chromium deficiency is more likely in the elderly, those who do a lot of strenuous exercise, and those who eat a lot of sugary foods. A deficiency in Chromium results in an increase in blood sugar, triglycerides (a form of fat in blood), cholesterol levels and can also cause an increase in the risk for diabetes, heart disease and other other conditions. Chromium is sold in single element supplements as well as multivitamins. Chromium supplements are available as chromium chloride, chromium nicotinate, chromium picolinate, high-chromium yeast and chromium citrate. Chromium supplements are sold at pharmacies as Amin-CR, Chromicaps, Chromate, Chhromax, and M2 Chromium. Chromium supplements are inexpensive, adding up to between $0.30 to $0.60 a day.


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