Important Cofactor In Many Biochemical Reactions

Chromium is an essential trace mineral required for carbohydrate, lipid, protein and corticosteroid metabolism (Kim et al 2002). It is a key constituent of glucose tolerance © 2007 Elsevier Australia factor, together with nicotinic acid and the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid.


Trivalent chromium is an essential trace element for normal carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity (Wilson & Gondy 1995), aiding the transport of glucose into cells. Rather than increasing insulin secretion, chromium appears to improve glycaemic control by enhancing the action of insulin; improving the ability of insulin to bind to cells; enhancing beta-cell sensitivity; increasing the number of insulin receptors; and activating insulin receptor kinase, thus increasing insulin sensitivity (Anderson 1997, Edmonson 2002). Additionally, in vitro studies have shown that chromium inhibits the secretion of TNF-alpha, a cytokine known to reduce the sensitivity and action of insulin, and that this appears to be mediated by its antioxidant effects (Jain & Kannan 2001).

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