Chromium in Whole Blood or Urine

Clinical Information

Chromium is a trace element that is naturally occurring in foods.

Chromium helps regulate blood glucose by enhancing insulin action although its exact mechanism of action is still unknown1,2.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency or Toxicity

Chromium deficiency may result from long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN) without concomitant chromium supplementation3. At present, there is no available information if inadequate dietary intakes of chromium will result in a deficiency.

Reports of specific chromium deficiency is uncommon. However, since chromium appears to enhance insulin action, chromium deficiency may be a contributing factor to the development of type 2 diabetes3.

Following are symptoms observed after an oral intake of chromium (VI): epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, vertigo, fever, muscle cramps, renal failure, and liver damage. Chronic dermal exposure may result to eczematous dermatitis with edema4.

Supplementation Guide

No published guidelines for supplementation for the general public.

Following are frequently used dosages of supplemental chromium for the prevention of a deficiency5.

  • Adults and teenagers: 50 to 200 mcg/day
  • Children:
    • 7 to 10 years: 50 to 200 mcg/day
    • 4 to 6 years: 30 to 120 mcg/day

There are no established upper limits for chromium for the Philippine population.

Food Sources

Food sources of chromium are broccoli, grape juice, sweet potatoes, orange juce, beef, turkey, chicken, apples (with skin), green beans, tomatoes, and bananas6.

(1) Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M. The role of vitamins and mineral in energy metabolism and well-being. The Journal of International Medical Research 2007; 35: 277-289
(2) Office of Dietary Supplements-National Institutes of Health. (n.d.). Chromium. Fact Sheet for Health Professional. Retrieved from
(3) Higdon J, Drake VJ, Delage B. (June 2007). Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Chromium. Retrieved from
(4) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. (n.d.). Chromium Toxicity. Clinical Assessment – Laboratory Tests. Retrieved from
(5) Micromedex. (n.d.). Drugs and Supplements. Chromum Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route).Retrieved from
(6) Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. (n.d.). Micronutrients for Health. Retrieved from