Vitamins And Minerals: What Is Chromium?

Getting enough chromium vitamins and minerals in your diet? Learn more about chromium and its important role in the human body.

Chromium comes in two forms, and it is alternately known as GFT or the glucose tolerance factor, and chromium amino acid chelate. Chromium is integral to the proper functioning of many enzymatic processes in the human body. Chromium is also essential in the breakdown of sugar and the conversion of sugar into energy. It also functions in the production of many fats in the body. It is also thought that chromium may play a very important role in protein production within the human body.

The dietary sources for chromium are vast and varied. Traces of chromium are found in a large amount of foods. The most excellent sources of chromium in dietary products are whole grain cereals. Most meats and dairy products are excellent sources as well. Chromium can also be found as an additive in some chewing gums sold at health food stores.

Even though it is so important to proper functioning of the human organism, chromium deficiency does occur and is fairly common in the United States. Severe chromium deficiency often because the soil in the United States has low traces of this mineral, therefore foods grown from the soil contain little if any chromium. Eating too many prepackaged and processed foods can also lead to chromium deficiency because and inadequate amount of chromium over long periods of time inhibits the human body's ability to process sugar which leads to symptoms of high blood sugar. Other symptoms of chromium deficiency include artherosclerosis, depressed growth, mental confusion, tiredness and fatigue. Often there will be a tingling sensation in the hands or feet or both extremities.

Recommended intakes of chromium vary, but the common agreement among professionals seems to be between 5 to 10 micrograms daily. Of course, before starting any form of supplementation you should consult your health care practitioner as chromium is poisonous if taken in excess or oversupplemented.

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