Chromium is an essential mineral that plays a role in how insulin helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone your body uses to change sugar, starches, and other food into the energy you need for daily activities.

Some evidence suggests that chromium supplements may help people with diabetes lower blood sugar levels. People with diabetes either do not make enough insulin, or cannot properly use the insulin that their bodies make. As a result, glucose or sugar builds up in the bloodstream.

As many as 90% of American diets are low in chromium. But it's rare to be truly deficient in chromium. People most likely to be deficient in chromium include:

  • The elderly
  • Those who do a lot of strenuous exercise
  • Those who eat a lot of sugary foods
  • Pregnant women

Low chromium levels can increase blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), cholesterol levels, and increase the risk for a number of conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Good food sources of chromium include:

  • Whole grain breads and cereals
  • Lean meats
  • Cheeses
  • Some spices, such as black pepper and thyme
  • Brewer's yeast


Dietary Sources

Available Forms

How to Take It


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Supporting Research