Minerals and trace elements - Chromium
Chromium (III) is the active form of this nutrient and its main functions appear to be linked with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. This form of chromium is thought to promote the action of insulin, the hormone which controls glucose levels in the blood. Subjects with adequate dietary chromium have improved control over blood glucose and a better blood lipid profile.
One significant characteristic of chromium deficiency is impaired glucose tolerance, which can be improved by chromium supplementation. However, chromium supplementation does not improve insulin action for people who were not initially deficient.
Chromium is not known to show toxicity.
Sources of chromium include meat, nuts, cereal grains, brewer’s yeast and molasses.
Other trace elements
There are other minerals which are needed in tiny amounts and which appear to be essential in the diet, e.g. molybdenum, boron. Others occur in the diet, but whether they are essential is unclear, e.g. nickel, lithium, antimony, aluminium and lead.
© British Nutrition Foundation