Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a "low-chromium" diet.
Summary of "Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a "low-chromium" diet."
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 months and fed the AIN-93G diet with no added chromium in the mineral mix component of the diet, the standard AIN-93G diet, the standard AIN-93G diet supplemented with 200 μg Cr/kg, or the standard AIN-93G diet supplemented with 1,000 μg Cr/kg. The chromium content of the diet had no effect on body mass or food intake. Similarly, the chromium content of the diet had no effect on glucose levels in glucose tolerance or insulin tolerance tests. However, a distinct trend toward lower insulin levels under the curve after a glucose challenge was observed with increasing chromium content in the diet; rats on the supplemented AIN-93G diets had significantly lower areas (P < 0.05) than rats on the low-chromium diet. The studies reveal that a diet with as little chromium as reasonably possible had no effect on body composition, glucose metabolism, or insulin sensitivity compared with a chromium-"sufficient" diet. Together with the results of other recent studies, these results clearly indicate that chromium can no longer be considered an essential element.
Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21086001
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00775-010-0734-y
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Stable chromium atoms that have the same atomic number as the element chromium, but differ in atomic weight. Cr-50, 53, and 54 are stable chromium isotopes.
A trace element that plays a role in glucose metabolism. It has the atomic symbol Cr, atomic number 24, and atomic weight 52. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP85-002,1985), chromium and some of its compounds have been listed as known carcinogens.
Unstable isotopes of chromium that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Cr atoms with atomic weights of 46-49, 51, 55, and 56 are radioactive chromium isotopes.
Inorganic compounds that contain chromium as an integral part of the molecule.
A metallic element of atomic number 30 and atomic weight 65.38. It is a necessary trace element in the diet, forming an essential part of many enzymes, and playing an important role in protein synthesis and in cell division. Zinc deficiency is associated with ANEMIA, short stature, HYPOGONADISM, impaired WOUND HEALING, and geophagia. It is known by the symbol Zn.
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