Chromium (Serum)

Serum
Optimal Result: 0.1 - 0.7 ng/mL.

Clinical Manifestations of Excess/ Risk for Toxicity:

Chromium occurs in primarily two states, trivalent chromium (chromium 3) typically found in foods and hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) typically found in industrial sources and pollutants. Chromium 3 is much less toxic than chromium 6. The body can detoxify some amount of chromium 6 to chromium 3 using glutathione, hydrogen peroxide, glutathione reductase, and ascorbic acid. Few serious adverse effects have been linked to high intakes of chromium 3, so no UL (= upper limit) has been established for chromium 3. Overexposure to chromium 6 can occur in welders and other workers in the metallurgical industry, use of chromium-containing paints and primers, individuals with metallic surgical implants, individuals who ingest chromium salts. Chromium toxicity can occur via oral, inhaled, or dermal absorption. Chromium toxicity, depending upon route of exposure, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, skin lesions, sinus, nasal and lung cancer, renal failure, liver damage, circulatory collapse, coma and death.

Physiological Function:

Chromium is an essential nutrient used in trace amounts in humans that acts as a cofactor for chromodulin, a peptide that enhances the effect of insulin on target tissues, which aids in regulation of blood sugar and lipid metabolism.

How it gets depleted:

Deficiency is very rare, but can occur in patients receiving IV parenteral nutrition, without supplemental chromium added, and individuals who regularly participate in endurance exercise.

Clinical Manifestations of Depletion:

Chromium deficiency can contribute to the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Even mild deficiencies of chromium can produce problems in blood sugar metabolism, and contribute to other symptoms such as anxiety or fatigue.

Food Sources:

Food sources of chromium include: brewer’s yeast, especially beer, broccoli, grape juice, meat and whole-grain products. Some fruits, vegetables, and spices provide chromium. Romaine lettuce, raw onions and ripe tomatoes are all good sources.

Supplement Options:

→ The AI for chromium is 35 μg/day for men and 25 μg/day for women.

→ Increased needs may be present during pregnancy and lactation.

→ Supplemental chromium is generally not needed as dietary consumption easily meets physiological needs.

→ Supplementation is poorly studied and insufficient evidence exists to provide recommendations, but chromium picolinate is a form commonly used in treatment of insulin resistance and diabetes.

What does it mean if your Chromium (Serum) result is too high?

Clinical Manifestations of Excess/ Risk for Toxicity:

Chromium occurs in primarily two states, trivalent chromium (chromium 3) typically found in foods and hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) typically found in industrial sources and pollutants. Chromium 3 is much less toxic than chromium 6. The body can detoxify some amount of chromium 6 to chromium 3 using glutathione, hydrogen peroxide, glutathione reductase, and ascorbic acid. Few serious adverse effects have been linked to high intakes of chromium 3, so no UL (= upper limit) has been established for chromium 3. Overexposure to chromium 6 can occur in welders and other workers in the metallurgical industry, use of chromium-containing paints and primers, individuals with metallic surgical implants, individuals who ingest chromium salts. Chromium toxicity can occur via oral, inhaled, or dermal absorption. Chromium toxicity, depending upon route of exposure, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, skin lesions, sinus, nasal and lung cancer, renal failure, liver damage, circulatory collapse, coma and death.

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