Chromium

Chromium is a trace mineral that plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism.

The body needs only small amounts of chromium. The AI for adults aged 19 to 50 is 35 micrograms a day for men and 25 micrograms for women. For adults 51 years and older, the AI decreases to 30 and 20 micrograms a day. Chromium is widely distributed in foods, but concentrations in any particular food aren’t high. Also, determining the chromium content of food is difficult because contamination can easily occur during the laboratory analysis.

Foods identified as good sources of chromium include mushrooms, prunes, dark chocolate, nuts, whole grains, cereals, asparagus, brewer’s yeast, some beers, red wine and meats. Dairy products are poor sources of chromium. Food processing methods can also add chromium to foods. Chromium deficiency has been shown to result in elevated blood lipid levels and in damage to the brain and nervous system.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

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