University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Food Science and Human Nutrition Program and Human Nutrition Program

The functioning of chromium in the body is less understood than that of most other . It enhances the actions of so it plays a role in carbohydrate, fat, and protein . Currently, the results of scientific studies evaluating the usefulness of chromium supplementation in preventing and treating Type 2 diabetes are largely inconclusive. More research is needed to better determine if chromium is helpful in treating certain chronic diseases and, if so, at what doses. If a deficiency of chromium occurs in the body, signs and symptoms include weight loss, peripheral neuropathy, elevated plasma glucose concentrations or impaired glucose use, and high plasma free fatty acid concentrations. Although toxicity of the mineral is a low risk in humans, it can cause DNA damage, organ damage, and renal problems. Tissues that are high in chromium include the liver, spleen, and bone.[1]

Dietary Reference Intakes for Chromium

The recommended intake for chromium is 35 mcg per day for adult males and 25 mcg per day for adult females. There is insufficient evidence to establish an UL for chromium.


Table 1: Dietary Reference Intakes for Chromium 

Age Group

AI (μg/day)

Infants (0-6 months)


Infants (6-12 months)


Children (1-3 years)


Children (4-8 years)


Children (9-13 years)

25 (males), 21 (females)

Adolescents (14-18 years)

35 (males), 24 (females)

Adults (19-50 years)

35 (males), 25 (females)

Adults (>50 years)

30 (males), 20 (females)

Source: The National Academies Press (2006). Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine. 296.

Dietary Sources For Chromium:

Dietary sources of chromium include meats, nuts, and whole grains. [2]

Learning Activities

Technology Note: The second edition of the Human Nutrition Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook features interactive learning activities.  These activities are available in the web-based textbook and not available in the downloadable versions (EPUB, Digital PDF, Print_PDF, or Open Document).

Learning activities may be used across various mobile devices, however, for the best user experience it is strongly recommended that users complete these activities using a desktop or laptop computer and in Google Chrome.



  1. Gropper, S. A. S., Smith, J. L., & Carr, T. P. (2018). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
  2. Anderson, R. A., Bryden, N. A., & Polansky, M. M. (1992). Dietary chromium intake. Freely chosen diets, institutional diet, and individual foods. Biological Trace Element Research, 32, 117–121. Accessed December 5, 2019.


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