Chromium: Deficiency & Toxicity Symptoms

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Phosphorus Deficiency & Toxicity Symptoms

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Chromium
  • 1:38 Deficiency
  • 3:40 Toxicity
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Chromium is a trace mineral that helps maintain normal blood glucose levels in your body. Learn who is at risk of deficiency and how a deficiency can lead to diabetes-like symptoms, as well as the issues, if any, related to chromium toxicity in this lesson.

Chromium

There's no doubt that Americans like to eat refined carbohydrates. These refined foods are sometimes referred to as white foods and include white bread, pasta and white rice. They're white in color because when the whole grain they originate from goes through the refining or milling process, the tough, brown outer coating of the grain is removed, leaving the tender white part of the grain behind. This processing protects foods from spoiling, and it makes them easier to chew. Yet, we pay a big nutritional price for refining our foods because this processing also strips away many minerals.

One of those minerals lost in milling is chromium, which is a trace mineral needed to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Knowing that chromium is lost during processing makes it easy to see why good food sources of chromium include whole grains and poor sources include refined grains. Of course, if you just can't seem to fit whole grains into your diet, you can obtain chromium from brewer's yeast, broccoli and a few other vegetables, as well as nuts and even certain spices, like black pepper.

Because of our love for refined carbs, and the fact that chromium becomes harder to absorb as we age, we see that many Americans are at least mildly low in chromium, yet a full-blown deficiency is rare. In this lesson, we will discuss what happens to your body when it's deficient in chromium, and look at what happens, if anything, if you take in too much.

Deficiency

Now, we mentioned that chromium helps to maintain normal blood glucose levels. So to best understand the effects of chromium deficiency, it will help to gain a bit of knowledge about blood glucose, or blood sugar, as it's commonly called. We think of this substance when we discuss a common health condition called diabetes, which is a disorder characterized by high levels of blood glucose.

Blood glucose levels are able to climb in a diabetic because their body does not produce sufficient levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that takes extra glucose in the blood and moves it into your body cells where it can be used for energy or stored for later use. So if insulin is like the superhero of blood glucose removal, we could say that chromium is his faithful sidekick.

So the sidekick, I mean chromium, makes insulin work better by helping with the passage of glucose into the cells. It's almost as if chromium holds the door of your body cell open so insulin can more easily push sugar inside. Knowing this close relationship between chromium and insulin, it's fairly easy to see that a chromium deficiency will result in diabetic-like symptoms that include elevated blood glucose. This is due to the fact that insulin is just not as efficient at doing its job without chromium.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support