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The human body contains very small amounts of the essential mineral chromium, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is available in many forms, including chromium picolinate. The university states it is thought chromium assists insulin in delivering glucose to your body's cells to be used as energy. It estimates 90 percent of all Americans may have low chromium levels. This may increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The University of Michigan Health System mentions brewer's yeast as the best source for chromium. Brewer's yeast is the byproduct of beer brewing and has a bitter taste. If the yeast does not have a bitter taste, it probably does not contain chromium. Tablets or capsules are available as well as powder. Good quality brewer's yeast may contain up to 60 micrograms of chromium per tbsp. Your doctor may prescribe 1 or 2 tbsp per day.
- The University of Michigan Health System mentions brewer's yeast as the best source for chromium.
- Good quality brewer's yeast may contain up to 60 micrograms of chromium per tbsp.
Fruits and Vegetables
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Chromium is available in many foods. The amount varies because of agricultural and manufacturing process, states the Office of Dietary Supplements 1. It adds that foods high in simple sugars tend to be low in chromium. It lists the following fruits and vegetables: 1/2 cup of broccoli, 11 micrograms; 1 tsp of dried garlic, 3 mcg; 1 cup of orange juice, 2 mcg; 1 cup of grape juice, 8 mcg; and 1/2 cup of green beans, 1 mcg.
- Chromium is available in many foods.
- It lists the following fruits and vegetables: 1/2 cup of broccoli, 11 micrograms; 1 tsp of dried garlic, 3 mcg; 1 cup of orange juice, 2 mcg; 1 cup of grape juice, 8 mcg; and 1/2 cup of green beans, 1 mcg.
Meat and Whole Grains
Chromium picolinate is not readily absorbed by the intestinal tract. The Office of Dietary Supplements estimates only 0.4 to 2.5 percent of chromium consumed finds its way into the bloodstream 1. Vitamin C and niacin assists in its absorption. The following meats and whole grains are high in chromium: whole-wheat English muffin, 4 mcg;, one slice of whole-wheat bread, 1 mcg; and 3 oz. of beef or turkey breast, 2 mcg.
- Chromium picolinate is not readily absorbed by the intestinal tract.
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- Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Chromium
- Hua Y, Clark S, Ren J, Sreejayan N. Molecular mechanisms of chromium in alleviating insulin resistance. J Nutr Biochem. 2012;23(4):313-9. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.11.001
- Cerulli J, Grabe DW, Gauthier I, Malone M, Mcgoldrick MD. Chromium picolinate toxicity. Ann Pharmacother. 1998;32(4):428-31. doi:10.1345/aph.17327
- Navarro VJ, Khan I, Björnsson E, Seeff LB, Serrano J, Hoofnagle JH. Liver injury from herbal and dietary supplements. Hepatology. 2017;65(1):363-373. doi:10.1002/hep.28813
- Food and Drug Administration. Food labeling: revision of the nutrition and supplement fact labels. Published May 27, 2016.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Chromium 4 mcg/mL chromic chloride injection, USP. Updated April 2002.
- Brownley KA, Von Holle A, Hamer RM, La Via M, Bulik CM. A double-blind, randomized pilot trial of chromium picolinate for binge eating disorder: results of the Binge Eating and Chromium (BEACh) study. J Psychosom Res. 2013;75(1):36-42. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.03.092
- National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Chromium. Updated July 9, 2019.
- Chromium: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. Updated July 9, 2019.
- Iovieno N, Dalton ED, Fava M, Mischoulon D. Second-tier natural antidepressants: Review and critique. J Affect Disord. 2011;130(3):343-357. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2010.06.010
Carrie Cross has been writing for profit and pleasure for more than 35 years. Her background includes business, real estate, entrepreneurship, management, health and nutrition. A registered nurse, she has published various pieces, including web content, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and columns and six books.