Chromium is a fascinating and very important trace mineral.  The word chromium means colored in Latin, similar to words such as chromaphores, chromatograph, and others.  Some chromium compounds have a bright yellow color, which is used to make yellow pigments in some paints.

Sexual orientation.  Chromium is considered a male mineral, and may have more importance for men.

The brilliance.  Dr. Joseph Scogna calls chromium the brilliance for at least two reasons.  First, in some forms, it has a brilliant reflective surface.  This is used widely in industry to give products such as automobile bumpers a beautiful, shiny, and brilliant appearance.

Chromium is also the brilliance because it is associated with wisdom and knowledge.  People who are wiser tend to have more chromium in the bodies, although we don’t know the exact reason for this.

Relation to other elements.  An element that is opposite of chromium is zinc.  Zinc is a stabilizer and buffer.  Chromium is an activator, associated with proper handling of sugar, which is a major fuel for our bodies.

Chromium and nickel share some properties that are interesting.  Both:

– can form very hard surfaces and are used widely for plating for this reason.

– are required to make iron into steel.

– can take on a shiny surface, although chromium is much brighter than nickel.  Nickel is used as a substitute for silver in some costume jewelry.

– are very toxic in some forms.

– can exist in an oxide form, which we call the “amigos”.

However, chromium is a very critical mineral for health, whereas nickel is not, and does not appear to have any important nutritional value.

Insulin and chromium.  Chromium, along with zinc, manganese, copper and a few other trace minerals, is needed for blood sugar regulation.  Without it, people crave sweets and may become diabetic, according to some researchers.

Alkalinity and chromium.  Chromium is also one of the most important alkaline-forming elements.  Its presence in adequate quantity helps assure that the pH of the blood and the tissues will be optimal.


Chromium deficiency is almost universal today, and usually becomes worse with age.    We are witnessing an epidemic of ailments related to chromium deficiency.  The symptoms include:


Elevated serum cholesterol

Fatigue,  hypoglycemia

Depressed growth

Dysinsulinism or pre-diabetes

Possibly food cravings or sweet cravings



Causes for chromium deficiency:

  1. Congenital.Most babies today in the Western and Westernized nations such as China are born deficient in chromium because their mothers’ bodies are deficient in chromium.  This is called a congenital chromium deficiency.
  2. Depleted soils.Chromium is low in the soil of most nations. This reduces the amount in all food.
  3. Hybridizationand the Green Revolution. Hybrid crops produce more tonnage of crop, but they are much lower in trace minerals such as chromium because of the nature of the plants, and because chromium is not added back to the soil in sufficient quantity.
  4. Food refining.Refining of wheat flour and rice strips off significant amounts of chromium found in these staple foods.
  5. Digestion and utilization of carbohydrates, especially sugars,requires chromium.  Eating too many carbohydrates or ANY sweets such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, rice syrup or other sweets thus tends to further deplete the body’s store of chromium.
  6. Iron enrichment.Excessive iron intake contributes to low chromium levels.  For example, most refined wheat flour is enriched with iron.  This interferes with the absorption of chromium from the diet, worsening chromium problems.

Iron enrichment of flour also damages the digestive tract, further impairing chromium absorption.

  1. Digestive disturbances.Any factors that impair digestion, such as the use of medical drugs, ingesting food chemicals, bad lifestyles, and intestinal infections further impairs chromium absorption.
  2. Stress.Stress may also use up chromium faster, and this can be another cause for chromium deficiency.


  2. Glucose tolerance factor– this is a chromium compound required for blood sugar levels and energy levels.
  3. Cholesterol regulation
  4. Other possible roles such as the synthesis of DNA

Roles by body system:

Circulatory – serum cholesterol regulation

Digestive – sugar and carbohydrate utilization (via insulin)

Nervous – maintenance of nervous system by regulation of blood sugar

Eyes – corneal clarity

Muscular – supplies energy for muscular contraction

Skeletal – essential component of bones and hair

Protective – immune system (via insulin)

Metabolic – fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism regulation



Phosphoglucomutase – glucose metabolism


            An important aspect of chromium metabolism in human beings and in animals is that chromium can be present in the form of an oxide.  We call this “amigo chromium”, because it is often found along with its “friends” – oxide forms of iron, manganese and aluminum.

The oxide form of chromium and some other elements seems to have an adaptive purpose – to help stimulate adrenal glandular activity when the adrenals are weak.  It is a somewhat toxic form of chromium that probably does not participate in most chromium-dependent enzymes.  It also acts an oxidant, irritating and damaging the tissues and contributing to inflammation.

Removing amigo chromium is not easy.  Chelation, homeopathy, and most nutritional methods will not remove it.


            Some forms of chromium, especially chromium-6 (or hexavalent chromium) and oxide forms of chromium, are extremely toxic.  Hexavalent chromium is an industrial pollutants, and fortunately is not usually found in foods.  Symptoms of chromium toxicity, usually from occupational exposure, include:



Kidney damage

Allergies, Sinusitis

Calcium deficiency, Possibly iron deficiency

Nausea, Vomiting, Ulcers, Fatigue



glucose, magnesium, vitamin B6, zinc, manganese



Absorption – iron, manganese, zinc, vanadium, phytates

Metabolic – glucagon

High hair tissue chromium:

  1. Usually indicates toxicity.Certain water supplies in the Mid-west of the United States are contaminated with chromium from old factories, or for other reasons.
  2. Poisoning.Toxic chromium is sometimes fed to people by foreign agents as part of Forging.
  3. Occasionally, we find toxic amounts of chromium in dog foods or dog treats.
  4. Biounavailable. Toxic forms of chromium are biounavailable, meaning that they do not function well in the body.
  5. Amigo chromium.This occurs fairly often.  Please read the section below on this form of chromium.
  6. Retests.The chromium level may rise very high on a retest hair mineral analysis.  This is due to its release from body tissues.  This is an elimination of toxic chromium, and is excellent.


Low hair tissue chromium:


  1. Deficiency.This is often due to deficiency, which is common in the population and is discussed above.
  2. Retests.A decrease or very low level on a retest mineral analysis may be due to the retention of chromium in the body tissues.  This may occur as the body becomes remineralized on a development program.  It usually will correct on the next hair mineral test, and is not a cause for concern.