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Chromium in diet
Definition Chromium is an essential mineral that is not made by the body and must be obtained from the diet.
Alternative Names Diet - chromium
Function Chromium is important in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates . Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis and is an activator of several enzymes.
Food Sources The best source of chromium is brewer's yeast, but a large percentage of individuals do not tolerate brewer's yeast because it causes abdominal distention (a "bloated" feeling) and nausea . Other good sources of chromium are beef, liver, eggs, chicken, oysters, wheat germ, green peppers, apples, bananas, spinach, and butter. Black pepper and molasses are also good sources of chromium, but they are normally consumed only in small amounts.
Side Effects Chromium deficiency may show itself as impaired glucose tolerance. It is seen in older people with non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus '>diabetes mellitus , and in infants with protein-calorie malnutrition . Supplementation of chromium helps with management of these conditions, but supplementation is not a substitute for other diabetes treatment. Because of the low absorption and high excretion rate of chromium, toxicity is not common in humans.
Recommendations There are no specific recommended dietary allowances for chromium. The safe and adequate daily dietary intakes of chromium are:
  • infants
  • 0 to 6 months -- 0.01 to 0.04 milligrams
  • 6 months to 1 year -- 0.02 to 0.06 milligrams
  • children
  • 1 to 3 years -- 0.02 to 0.08 milligrams
  • 4 to 6 years -- 0.03 to 0.12 milligrams
  • adolescents and adults -- 0.05 to 0.2 milligrams
  • The average adult intake in the U.S. is approximately 0.1 milligrams.

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