Type II Diabetes and Chromium

  • Richard A. Anderson
  • Noella A. Bryden
  • Marilyn M. Polansky


Chromium was shown to be an essential trace element by Mertz and Schwarz (1) who observed that rats fed a Torula yeast-based diet displayed impaired glucose tolerance. This intolerance was reversed by an insulin potentiating factor that was present in Brewer’s yeast, meat and other foods. This component was later shown to be a chromium complex (2). The essentiality of chromium in humans was demonstrated by Jeejeebhoy et al. (3) who reported that a 30-year old female on total parenteral nutrition developed peripheral neuropathy, unexpected weight loss and glucose intolerance that were refractory to the addition of 45 units of insulin per day. However, these symptoms could be alleviated by the inclusion of 250 μg daily of chromium as chromium chloride in the total parenteral nutrition solutions. Following chromium supplementation, no exogenous insulin was required and diabetic-like symptoms were reversed. This work has subsequently been confirmed in several laboratories (see review, 4).


Chromium Chloride Total Parenteral Nutrition Solution Chromium Nicotinate Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Genetic Diabetic Mouse 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Anderson
    • 1
  • Noella A. Bryden
    • 1
  • Marilyn M. Polansky
    • 1
  1. 1.Nutrient Requirements and Functions Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research CenterU.S. Department of Agriculture, ARSBeltsvilleUSA

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