Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, in addition to assisting with the synthesis of cholesterol, fats, and proteins. The body needs the hormone insulin to get glucose from the blood into the tissues where it can be used for energy, and chromium increases the sensitivity of tissues to the action of insulin. If you are deficient in chromium, your body will have trouble maintaining normal glucose utilization. (Chromium itself has no effect on glucose; it only works together with insulin to drive sugar from blood to tissue.) About 90 percent of the population does not get enough chromium from food. In addition, a high-sugar diet can increase the excretion of chromium, leading to obesity and diabetes. Some experts believe widespread chromium deficiency has contributed to the surge in Type II diabetes in the United States.
Good Food Sources: Brewer's yeast, beer, brown rice, grains, cereals, liver, legumes, peas, and molasses. (Refining and processing foods dramatically reduces chromium levels in foods.)
Signs of Deficiency: Signs of deficiency include blood sugar fluctuations and high cholesterol.
Uses of Chromium: : Chromium is used to treat acne, diabetes, glaucoma, obesity, and psoriasis.