Biological role

Chromium has a functional role in glucose metabolism by increasing insulin action by its better binding, to the insulin receptors on target cells. In its trivalent form of chromium (Cr3+) may improve glucose tolerance in people who are capable of protein-calorie malnutrition.

Chromium is a component of glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which works together with insulin, transporting glucose through the cell membrane into the cell. Glucose is used as an energy source. If sufficient quantities of chromium is consumed it leads to reduced need for insulin.

Insulin also plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and proteins, so that the chromium is necessary for the normal functioning of these processes. Adequate intake of chromium is essential for the maintenance of adequate levels of cholesterol and an important role in weight loss.

It is believed that chromium also plays an important role in metabolism of plasma lipoproteins.