The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Vitamin and Mineral Information


The information on this page compiled by
Beth Burch N.D.
(click on the keywords)


Chromium acts with insulin to promote normal blood glucose levels by moving glucose into cells. It may also help to increase HDL cholesterol and decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides. Deficiency is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels and is common with malnutrition and inadequate intake.

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  • Chromium picolinate
  • Chromium polynicotinate

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Food Sources

  • Brewer’s yeast, liver and whole grains are the best sources of chromium.

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  • Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
  • There is no RDA for chromium.

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Optimal Supplementation

  • 50-200 mcg daily

Treatment of Health Conditions

  • 200-600 mcg daily

Conditions used for

  • Impaired glucose utilization- both diabetes and hypoglycemia (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides (6, 7)
  • Acne (8)
  • Dysthymia- potentiates antidepressants (9)
  • Chromium deficiency

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Side effects

  • Increased dream activity and decreased sleep requirements

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  • None known

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Interactions with other nutrients

  • Calcium may reduce chromium absorption
  • Vitamin C may increase chromium absorption

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Interactions with medications and herbs

  • Antacids may reduce chromium absorption

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1. Anderson RA, Chromium, glucose intolerance and diabetes, J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17(6):548-55
2. Striffler JS et al, Dietary chromium decreases insulin resistance in rats fed a high-fat, mineral-imbalanced diet, Metabolism 1998;47(4):396-400
3. Anderson RA, Chromium as an essential nutrient for humans, Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 1997;26(1 Pt 2):S35-41
4. Anderson RA, Recent advances in the clinical and biochemical effects of chromium deficiency, Prog Clin Biol Res 1993;380:221-34
5. Anderson RA, Chromium, glucose tolerance, and diabetes, Biol Trace Elem Res 1992;32:19-24
6. Press RI et al, The effect of chromium picolinate on serum cholesterol and apolipoprotein fractions in human subjects, West J Med 1990;152:41-45
7. Wang MM et al, Serum cholesterol of adults supplemented with brewer’s yeast or chromium chloride, Nutr Res 1989;9:989-98
8. McCarty M, High-chromium yeast for acne?, Med Hypotheses 1984;14(3):307-10
9. McLeod MN et al, Chromium potentiation of antidepressant pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder in 5 patients, J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60(4):237-40

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* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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