Home | About | Contact | Buy the book | Blog

Nature Cures natural health advice

 

Let food be your medicine

 

 

 Ailments

 Food

 Nutrition

 Minerals

 Hazards

 

CHROMIUM

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 or proteins 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. The precise 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 the HDL cholesterol production in the liver. 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.

Chromium deficiency

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.

 

Subscribe to the monthly newsletter

 

Like on Facebook

 

Follow on Twitter 

 

Nature Cures book gift

Highest sources of chromium in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Brewer's yeast 400 µg

  • Mussels 128 µg

  • Brazil nut 100 µg

  • Oyster 57 µg

  • Dates (dried) 29 µg

  • Pears 27 µg

  • Shrimp 26 µg

  • Wholemeal flour 21 µg

  • Tomatoes 20 µg

  • Mushrooms 17 µg

  • Broccoli 16 µg

  • Barley (wholegrain) 13 µg

  • Hazelnuts 12 µg

  • Maize (wholegrain) 9 µg

  • Egg yolk 6 µg

  • Anchovies, herring 2 µg

NOTE: One μg is one microgram.

Recommended daily requirement

It is recommended that 20 µg for women and 30 µg for men is sufficient and only 0.2 µg for infants and 45 µg for lactating females. It is advised not to take more than 200 µg per day.

Natural sources of chromium in alphabetical order

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 µg 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.

NOTE: 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

 

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Chilli powder 38.1 mg

  • Paprika 38 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

  • Fish roe 1.9 mg

  • Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg

  • Black berries 1.2 mg

  • Chlorella 1.1 mg

Associated subjects

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

Subscribe to the Nature Cures monthly newsletter

NATURE CURES BOOK

Search Nature Cures for an ailment, health disorder or disease

 

Miscellaneous

A-Z of health disorders

A-Z of health hazards

Addictions

Air-purifying houseplants

Allergies

Aromatherapy

Bacterial infections

Cancer

Diabetes

Drug dangers

Fungi and yeast infections

Corneal graft information

Grow your own health garden

Health and welfare links

Home-made air fresheners

Home-made cleaning products

Hygiene, toxins and health

Increase your energy

Injury, surgery and infection

Make your own home remedies

Nature cures for babies

Nature cures for pets

Obesity and how to lose weight

Pain and inflammation

Parasite and worms

Plea for cornea donations

Raw juice therapy

Shopping list

The human body

Virus infections

Nutrition

A-Z of minerals

A-Z of vitamins and organic nutrients

Amino acids

Anti-nutrients

Antioxidants and free radicals

Carbohydrates

Cleanse and detoxify

Electrolytes

Fatty acids

Food combinations

Food intolerances

Fibre

Nature's colour codes

Nutrient deficiencies

Prebiotics and probiotics

Protein

Sports nutrition

Starch

Vitamins

Food

A-Z of natural food and beverages

A-Z of medicinal herbs and spices

A-Z of root vegetables

Alcohol dangers

Ancient kitchen cures

Berries

Brassicas

Brine pickling

Butter v margarine

Calories in foods

Citrus fruit

Coffee and caffeine dangers

Daily essentials

Dairy

Dried fruit

Fish

Food allergies

Fruit

Nature Cures healthy recipes

Juicing recipes

Legumes

Meat

Nuts

Oily fish

Oils

Organ meats

Raw juice therapy

Salt in the diet

Seeds

Shellfish

Sprouting micro-diet

Sugar dangers

Teas

Vegetables

Whole Grains

Nature Cures

About Nature Cures and the author

Advertise on this website

Buy the Nature Cures books

Nature Cures news

Site map

Subscribe to the monthly newsletter

Terms of service

Contact

Website index

Home

 

 

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it. Nature Cures is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any content or items purchased from any external websites linked to this website. 

© Copyright 2010 Nature Cures. All rights reserved.

Email: health@naturecures.co.uk