It was known by
the 1950s that chromium was needed in humans to control blood sugar,
but it wasn’t until the 1970s that chromium’s main role in humans
was found out. It came accidentally, as a result of a new procedure
that had been introduced to nourish hospitalized patients who could
not take in food by eating.
This method of
nourishment was designed to give patients all the things people need
to maintain health until they could eat normally and get these
nutrients from food. Some of the patients who had been fed
intravenously for months developed a high blood sugar level just like
diabetics (even though they weren’t). Then the doctors had to start
insulin therapy to treat this diabetes-like condition and even then
the insulin didn?t work right!
knew that Chromium was needed to keep normal blood sugar levels, so
when they added the Chromium to the food solutions, there was an
immediate improvement! The people didn?t need insulin injections, and
their blood sugars and other problems went back to normal. After a
while doctors everywhere figured out that Chromium was needed in
humans and they didn?t make the old mistakes anymore. Trivalent
chromium works with insulin to move glucose into cells, we don?t know
how else it works but we think it has to do with the insulin binding
to their receptor sites.
Three of the 17
good studies showed that there wasn?t any benefit of chromium with
diabetics, 14 did show blood glucose improvements in the patients.
The results were
impressive: blood glucose, insulin levels, and cholesterol all
decreased, with the higher dose (but not always).
No one knows how
tiny amounts of chromium could have such big effects on insulin?s
actions and no one knows why this is so but they believe that
chromium strengthens some things that happen between insulin and the
body. In other words, it doesn’t work by making the body make more
insulin, but instead chromium makes the insulin that is there work
better in the peoples cells.
For all the
An area of
interest lately is the possible effect of chromium on body
composition; or, how chromium affects the relative amounts of lean
body mass (mainly muscle) compared to the amount of body fat. There
have been positive results from studies with four separate animal
species, pigs, lambs, rats and chickens. They were given chromium
picolinate. In all of these species, there were increases in muscle
mass and decreases in fat. And, in the case of pigs, the results have
been confirmed by many other studies.
for humans, the evidence was not as clear until just recently.
Earlier Studies were not even conducted properly so we could not go
by their results. But later studies used a large group of about
average people and conducted a controlled experiment. After a while
there seemed to benefits to the control group and it showed to be a
result of the extra Chromium intake! (I wish this was, totally the
case because I myself am kind of a health nut)
Intake of Chromium
Info from U. S.
government shows that most Americans get less chromium a day than the
amount recommended by nutrition experts (the RDA Committee recommends
50-200 mcg of chromium/day; the vast majority of Americans get less
than 50 mcg/day).
Not many foods
have a lot of chromium. The best foods are organ meats, mushrooms,
wheat germ, broccoli and processed meats. It is thought that Stone
Age people ate more chromium than modern people because they might
have always eaten organ meats from the animals they hunted.
And it is most
likely that they lost less chromium in their pee than we do. This is
probably because Stone Agers didn?t eat nearly as much simple sugars
as modern people and simple sugar intake causes chromium to be lost
in the urine.
consume about 120 pounds of sugar per year from regular eating!
interesting thing is that in large numbers of people in the U.S.–
chromium levels in our tissues lower over our lifetimes. In fact, the
highest chromium levels are found in babies!
Chromium is an
essential trace mineral for humans, as far as we know chromium
deficiency might have direct effects on a societies obesity,
diabetes, abnormal blood lipids, hypertension, and even coronary
artery disease. Even though it is all controversial, many sources
show that this information is correct.
- To harden
steel, manufacture stainless steel, form alloys.
- Used in
plating to form a hard, beautiful surface that is corrosion proof
- Used to give
glass an emerald green color (responsible for the green in Emeralds
and the red in Rubies!).
- Use as a
- Pigment (lead
chromate [as chrome yellow]).
- Compounds are
used in the textile industry as Mordants. ??
- Used in the
manufacturing of aircraft to anodize aluminum.
- The refractory
industry ?? uses chromite for forming bricks and shapes (it has a
high melting point, moderate thermal expansion, and a stable crystal
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