Chromium deficiency

Symptoms of chromium deficiency include high blood fat and cholesterol levels and diabetes-like symptoms of glucose intolerance, weakness, depression, confusion, weight loss, thirst, hunger and frequent urination.

Diets high in refined and processed foods, such as flour and sugar, excessive losses from the body in some diseases, alcoholism, prolonged slimming regimes and pregnancy may lead to chromium deficiency. Infection and physical trauma appear to increase chromium requirements and strenuous exercise appears to increase chromium excretion, increasing the risk of deficiency when intake is marginal.

Chromium deficiencyTissue levels of chromium tend to decrease with age. British researchers involved in a study published in 1997 analyzed chromium levels in hair, sweat, and serum samples obtained from over 40,000 patients. The results showed highly significant age-related decreases which may play a part in the increased risk of diabetes and atherosclerosis in older people. Marginal chromium deficiency may be relatively common, with as many as 50 per cent of people in the USA consuming less than the recommended 50 mcg per day. Preventing chromium deficiency is very important as this is easier than treating the complications which arise as a result.

Diabetes

Chromium deficiency is relatively common in patients with Type II diabetes and may impair the function of GTF, causing the uptake of glucose into cells to become less efficient. Impaired chromium metabolism may also play a role in diabetes of pregnancy. High insulin levels also seem to increase chromium excretion. Chromium deficiency may also lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

Heart disease

Chromium deficiency may also play a role in heart disease. Poor dietary intake may be linked to higher blood cholesterol levels and therefore increased risk of atherosclerosis. Patients with advanced heart disease often have low chromium levels in their blood. On a population level, decreased chromium levels correlate with increased heart disease.

 
 
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