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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Anderson, Richard
item Cefalu, William

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/8/2005
Publication Date: 1/10/2006
Citation: Anderson, R.A., Cefalu, W. 2006. Chromium. In: Coates, P., Blackman, M., Cragg, G., Levine, M., Moss, J, White, J., editors. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, First Ed., pp175-189. Online Updates. New York, NY, Marcel Dekker, Inc. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The effects of chromium on glucose and insulin metabolism are well documented. Normal dietary intake of chromium appears to be suboptimal since several studies have reported beneficial effects of chromium on people with elevated blood glucose or type 2 diabetes eating conventional diets. Stresses that alter blood glucose often lead to increased mobilization of chromium that is subsequently lost from the body via the urine. The mechanism of action of chromium is largely through improvements in insulin sensitivity. Chromium makes insulin more effective and in the presence of chromium in a useable form, lower levels of insulin are required. There is no established upper limit for the supplemental Cr since it has very low toxicity and there have been no documented negative side effects in any of the more than 30 human studies.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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