Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Chromium: Recent Studies Regarding Nutritional Roles and Safety

Heimbach, James T. PhD, FACN; Anderson, Richard A. PhD

Nutrient Update

Trivalent chromium is an essential nutrient that plays a role in a number of metabolic systems. Recent research has elucidated the role of chromium in insulin function, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, both gestational and steroid-induced diabetes, and depression. This research has revealed that patients often show improvement in these conditions when they are given supplemental chromium leading to the inference that many individuals may be receiving suboptimal levels of chromium in their diet. Before a chromium compound may be added to foods as a nutrient supplement so as to increase the dietary intake of chromium, it must be shown to be safe for this application. Evidence is summarized, that demonstrates the safety of a specific chromium compound and chromax chromium picolinate, for addition to foods to provide up to 900 mcg chromium per day, and the process is described in which a panel of experts reviewed these data to determine that this product is generally recognized as safe for its intended use.

An update on chromium status

James T. Heimbach is a consultant in food safety and food regulation in private practice at JHeimbach LLC.

Richard A. Anderson is a research scientist with the Nutrient Requirements and Functions Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture.

Corresponding author: James T. Heimbach, JHeimbach LLC, 4530 Broad Branch Rd, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.