The signs and symptoms of chromium deficiency are similar to those listed for insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. With chromium supplementation less insulin is required since chromium supports the action of insulin. Fewer complications result since many of the complications of diabetes are the result of high levels of blood insulin.
It is difficult to get adequate chromium from the diet. The author lists chromium as a nutrient and not a therapeutic agent. There have been no reports of chromium toxicity except in occupational exposure.
Foods high in chromium are high bran breakfast cereals, broccoli, green beans and, some beers and wines. Chromium intakes are improved if a person eats plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and few simple sugars. Supplements of chromium vary from 100 to 1000 micrograms/day.
The risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) improved by chromium are the following:
The following signs and symptoms of chromium deficiency are the same as for diabetes mellitus:
Impaired glucose tolerance.
Increased circulating insulin.
Decreased insulin receptor number.
Decreased insulin binding.
Decreased lean body mass.
Increased percentage of body fat.
Increased eye pressure.
Peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves of the arms and legs.)
Encephalopathy (problems with brain function.)
Low respiratory quotient.
Abnormal nitrogen metabolism.
CONCLUSION: Chromium is an essential nutrient. Deficiency of chromium causes symptoms like diabetes mellitus and the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Treatment with chromium treats the symptoms of diabetes and high total and LDL cholesterol.