New Study Reveals Americans Consume Less Chromium Than Estimated Adequate Intake for this Essential Mineral

Results Presented at Experimental Biology 2003

PURCHASE, N.Y., April 14 -- A new study presented today at Experimental Biology 2003 analyzed consumption of chromium food sources using data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) for 1994-1996 and determined that Americans may not be meeting the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Adequate Intake (AI) for chromium. Research suggests that low intake of chromium may be linked to insulin resistance, a condition affecting one in three Americans and associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Chromium is an essential mineral that enhances insulin activity to help promote carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. "Overall the study suggests that American diets are inadequate in the essential mineral chromium," states Dr. Vijaya Juturu, lead investigator, Nutritional Scientist, Nutrition 21, Inc. Dr. Juturu adds, "Chromium is found in very small quantities in foods and it is difficult to estimate how much chromium we normally consume."

Dietary chromium content in food is variable and influenced by processing and cooking at high temperatures. Intakes of chromium from select food sources known to be high in chromium, such as wheat, cooked peas, American cheese, liver, egg and margarine were calculated using CSFII96. More Caucasians reported consumption of the selected high chromium food sources than did other groups.

The IOM recently published that the AI for chromium is 25-35 mcg per day, which was determined by estimating the average amount of chromium a healthy American obtains from the diet. The AI for chromium is substantially lower than the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 120 mcg. Dietary chromium alone may not be enough to meet the needs of this important mineral. Chromium supplementation is available to help Americans meet their chromium needs for healthy insulin function.

Research has shown that daily supplementation with 200-1,000 mcg per day of chromium, as chromium picolinate, increases insulin function and promotes blood sugar metabolism in both obese people and people with type 2 diabetes. "Since we know that chromium is critical for the many health areas impacted by poor insulin function, such as diabetes and heart disease, the results of this study suggest that Americans should supplement their diet with chromium, preferably in the form of the highly bioavailable chromium picolinate," comments James Komorowski, MS, co-investigator, VP, Technical Services and Scientific Affairs, Nutrition 21, Inc.

The study, "Consumption of Selected Food Sources of Chromium in the Diets of American Adults based on the CSFII Data Base 1994-1996" was funded by Nutrition 21, Inc.

About Nutrition 21

Nutrition 21, Inc., is a leading developer and provider of nutritional products whose health benefits are substantiated by clinical research. The market leader in nutritional chromium, Nutrition 21 currently holds 35 patents for nutrition products, 22 for chromium compounds and how they can used. More information is available at

Program # 702.1

Consumption of Selected Food Sources of Chromium in the diets of American

Adults Based on the CSFII Data Base 1994-1996

Vijaya Juturu(1), James R Komorowski(1), Gloria Hsheih(2). (1) Research and Development, Nutrition 21, Inc., 4 Manhattanville Road, Purchase, NY 10577, (2) Human health and development, Penn State University, University Park, PA

Chromium is an essential trace metal required for glucose, lipid and protein metabolism. Chromium is found in very small quantities in foods and is difficult to estimate how much chromium we normally consume and how much chromium we require each day. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the consumption of selected food sources of chromium such as wheat, peas, cooked, american cheese, liver, egg, chicken breast, margarine, haddock, ham, chicken and turkey, oyster, coffee, tea, wine and beer and calculate the intakes chromium based on servings of free-living male (M) and female (F) adults and children(C) by using data from the CSFII conducted from 1994 to 1996. More Caucasians (27.54 %) reported consumption of selected food sources of chromium than did other groups (0.2-3.3%). Greater percentages of individuals are consuming margarine (M: 31%, F: 34%; C: 28%); cheese (M: 28%, F: 25%; C: 36%) and beverages. In this study, the consumption of chromium food sources and the intakes (<20 mg/d) are less than adequate intakes (AI: 25-35mg/d). The current database is not adequate to determine dietary chromium intake because the content of chromium in foods is variable among different foods lots and may be influenced by processing and cooking at high temperatures. Overall the study suggested that the US diets are inadequate in chromium an essential metal.

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