Chromium Deficiency

General text about the lack of minerals can be found here.


Chromium is a chemical element, whose importance for our organism is somehow underestimated. It is necessary for proper function of brain, nerves and glucose metabolism. In human body it is only a trace element and its sufficient daily intake is only about 30 micrograms. Foods rich in chromium include cereals, beans, nuts and broccoli.


Due to the low need of daily chromium intake, the deficiency is relatively rare. Chromium deficiency is reported in chronic critically-ill patients, who are fed parenterally for a long time (i.e. intravenously by nutritional solutions).


The lack of chromium manifests as disorders of the central nervous system and peripheral nerves. The victim may suffer from confusion, personality changes and mood swings. Affection of peripheral nerves manifests as polyneuropathy with numbness and tingling sensations of the upper and lower extremities. Deficiency of chromium is related to disruption of glucose metabolism and this may subsequently lead to elevated blood sugar levels.

Prevention and treatment

People with normal diet have no need for chromium supplementation. However, patients on long-term parenteral nutrition should regularly use little amount of chromium supplements to prevent its deficiency.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources