Chromium is a trace mineral element
with the atomic number 24 and is necessary for the proper function of insulin, a
hormone that regulates glucose metabolism in the cells. Whenever carbohydrates
are consumed, the pancreas releases insulin, which stimulates the cells of the
liver, muscles and adipose tissue to absorb glucose, the primary fuel source for
all cells. Insulin also accelerates the processing of fats and proteins in
cells. Therefore, if proper energy metabolism is to occur in the tissues, it is
essential that the cells respond appropriately to insulin's signals. Chromium
plays a vital role in insulin signalling. Insulin prompts the uptake of glucose
from the bloodstream by attaching to receptors on the surfaces of the cells,
thereby making the cells' membranes more permeable to glucose.
Chromium may help people with
diabetes control blood sugar levels. People with diabetes either
do not produce enough insulin, a hormone needed to change sugar,
starches and other food into energy, or cannot use the insulin that
their bodies make. Chromium may lower blood sugar levels as well,
improving glucose tolerance and reducing the amount of insulin
needed. Because brewer's yeast is a rich source of chromium,
scientists think it may help treat high blood sugar.
Chromium may bind to special proteins inside cells that enhance the
sensitivity of insulin receptors or it may be that chromium
cooperates with insulin to increase the number of glucose "shuttles"
in cell membranes, thus improving cellular glucose absorption.
mechanisms by which chromium influences energy metabolism in the
body have not yet been defined. But chromium is essential for the
proper function of insulin and for the normal cellular processing of
carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Chromium also has a function in
HDL cholesterol production in the
This good cholesterol has in contrast to the harmful LDL cholesterol a positive
influence on the health. LDL cholesterol can precipitate on the artery walls,
which can cause heart and vascular diseases. HDL-cholesterol can remove this
effect of LDL cholesterol.
Chromium also helps in the
metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, stimulates the production of proteins in
the body, raises immunity against infections and suppresses the feeling of
hunger which can be useful for those that are overweight.
A deficiency of chromium could result in glucose intolerance (diabetes)
which is on the rise. This deficiency could be caused by the soil
levels of chromium which has been leached out due to modern day
farming techniques and the widespread consumption of refined and
processed foods, which are typically low in chromium. Eating more
chromium rich foods could reverse glucose intolerance in a
significant number of "at risk" individuals.
Deficiency can also result in nerve illnesses, heart problems and increased
cholesterol and fat concentrations in the blood. People on prolonged intravenous nutrition often develop diabetes. There are many reasons this is true, but one potential reason is chromium deficiency. For these people, getting chromium levels back to normal can reverse the issue. Intense exercise can increase the rate of chromium loss in the urine.
NOTE: Make sure to read the label of Brewer's Yeast as some inferior products do not contain chromium. High-quality brewer's yeast powder or flakes contain as much as 60
of chromium per tablespoon (15 grams)
NOTE:Vitamin C enhances the absorption of dietary chromium therefore foods rich in vitamin C should be consumed at the same time.
Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrms per 100 grams
Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg
Camu camu berries 532 mg
Rosehips 426 mg
Green chillies 242.5 mg
Guavas 228.3 mg
Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg
Black currants 181 mg
Thyme 160.01 mg
Red chillies 143.7 mg
Drumstick pods 141 mg
Kale 130 mg
Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg
Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg
Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg
Cloves, saffron 81 mg
Cayenne red pepper 76 mg
Mustard greens 70 mg
Cress 69 mg
Persimmons fruit 66 mg
Chilli powder 64 mg
Swede 62 mg
Basil 61 mg
Rosemary 61 mg
Chives 58 mg
Oranges 53.2 mg
Lemons 53 mg
Kumquats 43.9 mg
Watercress 43 mg
Wasabi root 41.9 mg
Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg
Elderberries 36 mg
Coriander 27 mg
Recommended daily requirement of vitamin C
It is recommended that 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men is sufficient although a gorilla gets about 4000 mg of vitamin C a day in its natural diet.
Vitamin C supplements might raise blood sugar. In older people with diabetes, vitamin
C in amounts greater than 300 mg per day increases the risk of death from
heart disease therefore it is wiser to choose foods rich in vitamin C rather than supplements.
It is important to consume foods rich in vitamin C with food rich in vitamin E at the same time. For example nuts and fruits. This is because vitamin C increases iron absorption and reduces levels of magnesium and zinc whilst vitamin E does the opposite. To balance the levels of these important minerals both must be consumed in equal amounts.
Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams
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