Background And Relevant Pharmacokinetics

Absorption of chromium occurs by passive diffusion and is inversely related to dietary intake (e.g. from a dose of 10 fjg, 2% is absorbed; from a dose of 40 fjg, 0.5% is absorbed) (Anderson & Kozlovsky 1985). Absorption may be inhibited by zinc (Hahn & Evans 1975) and phytates, and enhanced by oxalate (Bryson & Goodall 1983) and ascorbic acid (Offenbacher 1994). In regard to supplements, chromium picolinate appears to be the most absorbable form as the complexation of picolinic acid with chromium increases its bioavailability (Edmonson 2002, Press et al 1990).

Chromium is transported around the systemic circulation primarily by transferrin (Campbell et al 1997) potentially competing with iron, and accumulates in kidney, muscle and liver (Hepburn & Vincent 2003). It is excreted primarily in urine, but small amounts are lost in hair, perspiration and faeces.

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