Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Abnormal Levels of Urinary Chromium

Author
item Anderson, Richard

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 26, 2003
Publication Date: February 4, 2003
Citation: Workplace Urine Specimen Validity Testing Colloquium, Tampa, FL, Feb. 2003.

Technical Abstract: Chromium has been shown to reverse the signs and symptoms of varying stages of glucose intolerance ranging from hypoglycemia to type 2, gestational and steroid-induced diabetes. Chromium functions by improving insulin function which leads to a normalization of blood glucose. Supplemental chromium has also been shown to lead to decreased body weight and increased lean body mass. Reported daily chromium losses for normal human subjects decreased from more than 150ug per day in 1966 to roughly 0.2ug per day in the eighties and reliable values are still in that range. Chromium absorption varies from less than 0.4 to roughly 2% depending upon dietary chromium intake and form of chromium consumed. Stresses including high sugar diets, exercise, pregnancy, lactation, glucocorticoids and physical trauma increase chromium losses. The magnitude of the losses is proportional to the degree of stress. Due to the beneficial effects of chromium on blood sugar, insulin, body weight and lean body mass, chromium is a very popular nutrient supplement. Normal ranges of chromium supplementation usually range from less than 20ug per day to 1000ug daily. Urinary losses of subjects consuming 1000ug daily of chromium as chromium picolinate, the most popular nutrient supplement, are in the region of 10 to 15ug daily. Urinary chromium losses are a short term measure of chromium intake or exposure and negligible amounts of chromium are present in the urine two days after chromium intake. In summary, urinary chromium losses of normal subjects who are not taking chromium supplements are usually in the range of 0.5ug per day but may be as high as 15ug per day if subjects are taking nutrient supplements.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014