a New Chromium Complex
By Rosalie Marion
January 20, 2004
Scientists with the
Agricultural Research Service have
developed a new, stable and absorbable form of the element chromium. The U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office is issuing a patent to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture on the complex. ARS is the USDA's chief scientific research agency.
The new compound was developed by chemist Richard Anderson and others at the
ARS Beltsville (Md.) Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC). The compound is a
water-soluble complex of natural chromium mixed with the essential amino acid
histidine, which helps enhance the mineral's absorption within the body.
Scientists have long observed that chromium is involved in the transfer of
sugar from the blood to muscles and helps to maintain normal blood sugar
levels. Several dietary and lifestyle factors influence chromium blood levels.
For example, vitamin C increases chromium absorption, while refined sugars and
intense exercise increase its elimination.
Significantly, chromium supplementation helps those who are chromium
deficient. At this time, there is no blood test to distinguish adequate or
deficient chromium levels. Scientists at the BHNRC are now developing tests to
assess people's chromium levels and are evaluating the interaction between
levels of chromium and sugar circulating in blood.
The ARS Office of Technology Transfer is seeking U.S. companies interested
in obtaining a license on the new compound and conducting clinical trials
associated with product safety and proper dosage.
ARS-OTT licensing information can be found on the World Wide Web at: