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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Chromium in Aging

Author
item Anderson, Richard

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2003
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Citation: Anderson, R.A. 2003. Chromium in aging [abstract]. 7:212.

Technical Abstract: Aging has negative effects on glucose, insulin, blood lipids, insulin sensitivity, body weight, body fat and lean body mass. The nutrient, chromium, which helps regulate insulin function, has positive effects on all of these variables. In addition, chromium intake and status decline with age. In a study involving over 40,000 people, chromium content of the hair, sweat and urine were shown to decline with age. The addition of chromium to the diet of rats led to an increase in lifespan by 33%. The effects of chromium are similar to those observed when animals are put on calorie restricted diets, which also lead to longer life span that is accompanied by decreased levels of glucose and insulin and increased insulin sensitivity. The declines in insulin sensitivity are reflected by changes in chromium metabolism with patients with diabetes having lower chromium levels in the blood and higher chromium losses with further declines in chromium status associated with aging. Food patterns common in aging including increased consumption of higher sugar foods also lead to higher chromium losses and decreased chromium status. These foods also tend to not only increase chromium losses but are also low in chromium leading to decreased chromium intake with increased losses. Consumption of foods that increase insulin is also associated with weight gain, increased fat mass and decreased lean body mass which are improved by improved chromium nutrition. Improved chromium nutrition is one of the factors that leads to reversal of suboptimal health that manifests with age.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014