Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a “low-chromium” diet

  title={Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a “low-chromium” diet},
  author={Kristin R. Di Bona and Sharifa T. Love and Nicholas R. Rhodes and Deana McAdory and Sarmistha H. Sinha and Naomi Kern and Julia Kent and Jessyln Strickland and Austin Wilson and Janis Beaird and James Ramage and Jane F. Rasco and John B. Vincent},
  journal={JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry},
Chromium was proposed to be an essential trace element over 50 years ago and has been accepted as an essential element for over 30 years. However, the studies on which chromium’s status are based are methodologically flawed. Whether chromium is an essential element has been examined for the first time in carefully controlled metal-free conditions using a series of purified diets containing various chromium contents. Male Zucker lean rats were housed in specially designed metal-free cages for 6… 
[Is chromium an essential trace element in human nutrition?].
There is a high possibility that chromium is not an essential trace element associated with carbohydrate metabolism, and chromium intake seems to be dependent on chromium contamination during food processing and cooking.
Chromium: is it essential, pharmacologically relevant, or toxic?
While chromium has been conclusively shown not to have beneficial effects on body mass or composition and should be removed from the list of essential trace elements, chromium(III) compounds are generally nontoxic and have beneficial pharmacological effects in rodents models of insulin insensitivity, although human studies have not conclusively show any beneficial effects.
Urinary Chromium Excretion in Response to an Insulin Challenge Is Not a Biomarker for Chromium Status
The study demonstrated that insulin-stimulated urinary Cr excretion cannot be used as a biomarker for Cr status and found the Cr content of the diet was found to have no affect on blood iron levels.
New Evidence against Chromium as an Essential Trace Element.
Nearly 60 y ago, chromium, as the trivalent ion, was proposed to be an essential element, but the results of new studies indicate that chromium currently can only be considered pharmacologically
The Effects of High Dietary Doses of Chromium(III) Complex with Propionic Acid on Nutritional and Selected Blood Indices in Healthy Female Rats
The dietary supplementation of Cr3 for 4 weeks at doses of 100 to 1000 mg Cr · kg−1 diet did not affect overall nutritional indices and most blood biochemical, morphological and haematological indices.
Supplementary Chromium(III) Propionate Complex Does Not Protect Against Insulin Resistance in High-Fat-Fed Rats
Assessment of the preventive potential of the supplementary chromium(III) propionate complex (CrProp) in rats fed a high-fat diet found this element increased renal Cr content and normalized splenic Cu content in high-Fat-fed rats, but does not prevent the development of insulin resistance.
Chromium: Biological Relevance
There is mounting evidence that the antidiabetic activity of Cr(III) complexes is caused by the formation of high-oxidation-state (Cr(VI) or Cr(V) species during the reactions with biological oxidants in blood plasma, rather than by a specific Cr( III)-containing biomolecule.
The Need for Combined Inorganic, Biochemical, and Nutritional Studies of Chromium(III)
Greater cooperative research interactions between nutritionists, biochemists, and chemists might have avoided the earlier issues in nutritional and biochemical Cr research and is necessary to establish the potential role of Cr as a therapeutic agent at a molecular level.


Lack of toxicity of chromium chloride and chromium picolinate in rats.
A lack of toxicity of trivalent Cr is demonstrated, at levels that are on a per kg basis, several thousand times the upper limit of the estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake for humans.
High-dose chromium(III) supplementation has no effects on body mass and composition while altering plasma hormone and triglycerides concentrations
The lack of an effect of the Cr(III) compound at these levels of administration clearly indicates that Cr( III) supplements do not have an effect on body composition at any reasonable dosage.
Chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity studies of chromium picolinate monohydrate administered in feed to F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice for 2 years.
  • M. Stout, A. Nyska, M. Hooth
  • Biology
    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 2009
The role of chromium in nutrition and therapeutics and as a potential toxin.
The evidence for the potential toxicity of chromium supplements in contrast with its usefulness as a nutrient or therapeutic agent in the treatment or prevention of insulin resistance is reviewed.
Chromium: celebrating 50 years as an essential element?
This review considers research on the biochemistry of Cr(III) over the last two decades and how the results have affected the current status of Cr as an essential element.
AIN-93 purified diets for laboratory rodents: final report of the American Institute of Nutrition ad hoc writing committee on the reformulation of the AIN-76A rodent diet.
Two new diets may prove to be a better choice than AIN-76A for long-term as well as short-term studies with laboratory rodents because of a better balance of essential nutrients.