Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #172819


item Anderson, Richard

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2004
Publication Date: 1/10/2005
Citation: Anderson, R.A. 2005. Chromium in syndrome x and obesity. (abstract) Trace Elements in Diabetes & Syndrome X.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Metabolic syndrome or syndrome X is characterized by a cluster of abnormalities including insulin resistance, obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL. Suboptimal intakes of the essential nutrient, chromium, are also characterized by these same abnormalities. In the presence of chromium in a suitable form, much lower levels of insulin are required to yield the same insulin dependent effects. Improved insulin resistance due to chromium has been shown in vitro and in experimental animals and humans. Improved insulin sensitivity due to increased chromium intake also leads to improved blood lipids including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Following a glucose challenge, glucose and insulin areas under the curve are lower for obese rats receiving chromium than for control rats. Chromium also leads to lower total cholesterol and higher HDL. Effects are not significant for lean rats. Membrane associated Glut-4 is also enhanced by chromium in obese rats after insulin stimulation. Decreased fat mass and increased lean body mass due to increased chromium intake have also been reported in humans and other experimental animals. Not all studies have reported significant improvements and response to chromium is dependent upon the amount and form of chromium as well as the chromium status of the humans or experimental animals at the onset of the studies. The mechanism of action of chromium is associated with an increase in insulin binding to cells, increased insulin receptor number, increased insulin receptor kinase and increased phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and IRS-1. In summary, improved chromium nutrition leads to improvements in a cluster of abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome.