What is it?

Chromium is a mineral that humans require in trace amounts, although its mechanisms of action in the body and the amounts needed for optimal health are not well defined. It is found primarily in two forms: 1) trivalent (chromium 3+), which is biologically active and found in food, and 2) hexavalent (chromium 6+), a toxic form that results from industrial pollution. This page focuses only on the trivalent form.

It is known to enhance the action of insulin, a hormone critical to the metabolism and storage of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the body. In 1957, a compound in brewers' yeast was found to prevent an age-related decline in the ability of rats to maintain normal levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood. It was identified as the active ingredient in this so-called "glucose tolerance factor" in 1959.

This trace mineral also appears to be directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, but more research is needed to determine the full range of its roles in the body.


The Benefits

  • Important in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

  • Helps moves blood sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells to be used as energy and turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy.

  • Stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, which are important for brain function and other body processes.

  • Important in insulin metabolism.

  • Much more than Chromium is discussed back at the Natural Source Vitamins Homepage