Category: Natural chemicals
Introduction and description
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr. It is a steely-grey, lustrous, hard and brittle metal which takes a high polish, resists tarnishing, and has a high melting point.
Chromium is the 22nd most abundant element in Earth's crust with an average concentration of 100 ppm. Chromium compounds are found in the environment, due to erosion of chromium-containing rocks and can be distributed by volcanic eruptions.
Trivalent chromium (Cr(III) or Cr3+) occurs in trace amounts in foods and waters. According to two Pubmed papers it is a needed trace element in the human body.
Chromium (III) is one of the trace elements, which are necessary for human and animal vital activity.
It enters the organism from digestive tract and is transported to the tissues, where its accumulation takes place. The deficiency of chromium (III) causes the disturbances in metabolic processes.
The primary reaction of organism on chromium (III) deficiency, is the lowered tolerance of glucose, which is the consequence of changes in insulin affinity to its receptors on cells.
The considerable quantities of chromium (III) reveal in nucleic acids. It influences on their metabolism, replication and transcription. The ion decreases the content of corticosteroids in plasma and increases the functional activity of immune system of organism. PMID: 10609294
Illnesses and diseases of chromium imbalance
Chromium deficiency has been attributed to only three people on long-term parenteral nutrition, which is when a patient is fed a liquid diet through intravenous drips for long periods of time. Deficiency is thus extremely rare.
Overdose of chromium, however, is a serious problem. In contrast to Trivalent chromium, hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI) or Cr6+) is very toxic and mutagenic when inhaled. Cr(VI) has not been established as a carcinogen when in solution, although it may cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).
For more details see Chromium imbalance.
According to Wikipedia “No comprehensive, reliable database of chromium content of food currently exists. Data reported prior to 1980 is unreliable due to analytical error. Chromium content of food varies widely due to differences in soil mineral content, growing season, plant cultivar, and contamination during processing. In addition, large amounts of chromium (and nickel) leech into food cooked in stainless steel.”
The USDA Nutrients database does not include chromium, as such the analysis of Wikipedia is borne out in practise here. But there is one known source and that is Red meat – see observations.
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