Role of Chromium in Humans

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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 byeating. 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 formonths developed a high blood sugar level just like diabetics (even though they weren’t). Then the doctors had to start insulin therapy to treat the thisdiabetes-like condition and even then the insulin didnt work right! People already knew that Chromium was needed to keep normal blood sugar levels, so whenthey added the Chromium to the food solutions, there was an immediateimprovement!

The people didnt need insulin injections, and their blood sugarsand other problems went back to normal. After a while doctors everywhere figuredout that Chromium was needed in humans and they didnt make the old mistakes anymore. Trivalent chromium works with insulin to move glucose into cells, wedont know how else it works but we think it has to do with the insulin binding to their receptor sites. Chromium and Diabetes Three of the 17 good studies showed that there wasnt any benefit of chromium with diabetics, 14did show blood glucose improvements in the patients. The results were impressive: blood glucose, insulin levels, and cholesterol all decreased, withthe higher dose (but not always).

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No one knows how tiny amounts of chromium could have such big effects on insulins actions and no one knows why this isso 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 makemore insulin, but instead chromium makes the insulin that is there work betterin the people’s cells. For all the Health Nuts! An area of interest lately is thepossible effect of chromium on body composition; or, how chromium affects therelative amounts of lean body mass (mainly muscle) compared to the amount ofbody fat. There have been positive results from studies with four separateanimal species, pigs, lambs, rats and chickens. They were given chromiumpicolinate. In all of these species, there were increases in muscle mass anddecreases in fat.

And, in the case of pigs, the results have been confirmed bymany other studies. Unfortunately, for humans, the evidence was not as clearuntil just recently. Earlier Studies were not even conducted properly so wecould 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 seemedto 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 ofa health nut) Humans Daily Intake of Chromium Info from U. S. government shows that most Americans get less chromium a day than the amount recommended bynutrition experts (the RDA Committee recommends 50-200 mcg of chromium/day; thevast majority of Americans get less than 50 mcg/day). Not many foods have a lotof chromium.

The best foods are organ meats, mushrooms, wheat germ, broccoli and processed meats. It is thought that Stone Age people ate more chromium thanmodern 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 peethan we do. This is probably because Stone Agers didnt eat nearly as muchsimple sugars as modern people and simple sugar intake causes chromium to belost in the urine. Americans consume about 120 pounds of sugar per year fromregular eating! Another interesting thing is that in large numbers of people inthe U.S.– chromium levels in our tissues lower over our lifetimes. In fact, thehighest chromium levels are found in babies! Conclusion Chromium is an essentialtrace mineral for humans, as far as we know chromium deficiency might havedirect effects on a societies obesity, diabetes, abnormal blood lipids,hypertension, and even coronary artery disease.

Even though it is allcontroversial, many sources show that this information is correct. Other Uses -To harden steel, manufacture stainless steel, form alloys. – Used in plating toform a hard, beautiful surface that is corrosion proof – Used to give glass anemerald green color (responsible for the green in Emeralds and the red inRubies!). – Use as a catalyst – Tanning leather – Pigment (lead chromate aschrome yellow). – Compounds are used in the textile industry as Mordants. ? -Used in the manufacturing of aircraft to anodize aluminum. – The refractoryindustry ? uses chromite for forming bricks and shapes (it has a high meltingpoint, moderate thermal expansion, and a stable crystal structure).


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