Chromium is a mineral our bodies use in small amounts for normal body functions, such as digesting food. Chromium exists in many natural foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially the skins), cheeses, molasses, spices, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Drinking hard tap water supplies a lot of chromium to the body, and cooking in stainless-steel cookware increases the chromium content in foods.
Chromium helps to move blood sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells to be used as energy and to turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy.
Chromium may be important to people with type 2 diabetes. It may help them control their blood sugar and may play a role in the management of adult-onset diabetes.
Low chromium levels may cause high cholesterol and a greater risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). Supplemental chromium may increase "good" (HDL) cholesterol and lower triglycerides and total cholesterol levels in people with high blood sugar and diabetes.
Chromium has been shown to control insulin and normalize blood sugar levels (making it a diabetes fighter), lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL, or low density lipids), raise good cholesterol levels (HDL, or high density lipids), increase immune system functioning, reduce the incidence of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and even boost levels of DHEA.
Chromium may affect the eyes; there is a link between low chromium levels and increased risk of glaucoma.
Chromium slows the loss of calcium, so it may help prevent bone loss in women during menopause.