Chromium is a mineral that humans require in trace or small amounts. Its mechanisms of action in the body and the exact amounts needed for optimal health are not well defined. Chromium is known to enhance the action of insulin, a hormone critical to the metabolism and storage of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the body. Although chromium is found in many foods, such foods typically contain less than 2 micrograms per serving. Meat and whole-grain products, as well as some fruits, vegetables, and spices contain chromium.
Research on the effect of chromium supplementation on diabetic patients has been inconclusive due to small study sizes and use of different chromium formulations. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a statement recognizing chromium as a safe nutritional supplement. The FDA also stated that one small study suggests that it may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and therefore possibly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The recommended daily allowance for chromium is 25 mcg per day for females age 19-50, and 35 mcg per day for males aged 19-50.