Author(s): Yoshida M
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Abstract It has been recognized that chromium is an essential trace element associated with carbohydrate metabolism, and chromium deficiency causes an impaired glucose tolerance. Recently, however, Vincent et al. have reported that chromium is not an essential trace element. In the present report, the author evaluated the nutritional essentiality of chromium by reviewing several previous reports. In almost all previous reports, the chromium concentration in the animal feed used was higher than 0.1 μg/g, and it is difficult to consider that the experimental animals were in a low-chromium state. In addition, the amount of chromium administered to the animals for the improvement of glucose tolerance was at a pharmacological level, and corresponded to a level that far exceeded the human daily chromium intake (20 to 80 μg/day). On the other hand, recent research has clearly shown that feeding with a severely low-chromium diet (0.016 μg/g) does not impair glucose tolerance. The amount of chromium absorbed in humans estimated from chromium intake (20 to 80 μg/day), chromium absorption rate (1\%), and urinary chromium excretion (<1 μg/day) is less than 1 μg/day, which is much lower than those of other essential trace elements. In addition, because there is an inconsistency between the chromium concentration in food and chromium intake, chromium intake seems to be dependent on chromium contamination during food processing and cooking. It is concluded that there is a high possibility that chromium is not an essential trace element.
This article was published in Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals