Chromium is a trace mineral, which means your body only needs a small amount. Chromium can be found in the earth’s crust, seawater, and in certain foods. Tiny amounts of chromium can also be found in the body

As only a trace amount of the mineral is needed, chromium has been considered the “forgotten” mineral for many years. However, it has been discovered to play a role in immune system function and is now recommended for whole-body health.

Chromium and Your Immune System

Chromium has long been associated with heart health, but more recently has been identified as a mineral that promotes immune function too. By supporting your immune system function by several mechanisms, chromium can sustain your immune defenses to protect your body against invaders. 

Chromium helps with the reproduction of crucial immune cells known as T-cells and macrophages. These white blood cells are essential for a healthy immune response and help protect the body against common environmental and seasonal threats.  

Chromium supplements also support the biosynthesis of proteins in the nucleus of cells. This allows it to play an integral role in maintaining the integrity of DNA, which is thought to be one of the molecular mechanisms by which chromium can support immune function.

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Chromium also has a beneficial effect on cytokines, the chemical messengers that regulate your immune response. Chromium increases TNF and IL-4, two important cytokines that promote immune responses and immune cell activity for taking out problem cells.

Additional Health Benefits of Chromium

In addition to supporting immune health, chromium provides benefits throughout your body. Chromium works to maintain healthy blood sugar levels to promote metabolic health.

In addition to supporting a healthy metabolism, chromium also aids in the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels for optimal arterial and circulatory health.

By supporting healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, chromium promotes overall heart function and supports healthy weight management.


How to Take Chromium

Chromium supplements are considered safe for adult consumption, so long as you take the recommended amount and never exceed more than 1,000 mcg per day.

♦ Adult women, aged 19 to 50, should get 30 mcg per day at minimum, while women over 50 should consume at least 25 mcg per day. 

♦ Adult males, aged 19 to 50, should consume at least 35 mcg per day, with men over 50 taking a minimum of 30 mcg per day. 

There are different types of chromium on the market. You may find it as an individual supplement or in combination with other beneficial nutrients. Always check the amount of chromium in a product before you buy it, and be sure it is a reputable brand that uses clinically-studied ingredients.

Side Effects and Warnings

When taken orally and in recommended amounts, chromium is considered safe for adult consumption. A tolerable upper limit of chromium of 1,000 mcg per day is safe for a short-term period of six months. Possible side effects of taking chromium include:

♦ Headaches
♦ Dizziness
♦ Nausea
♦ Mood changes
♦ Skin irritation

Do not take chromium if you currently take medications for liver or kidney health and avoid chromium supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. Always consult with your doctor before taking any supplement.

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The Bottom Line

Your body only needs trace amounts of chromium, so it is easy to get what you need to support immune function, heart health, and more. If you are concerned that you do not get enough chromium from your diet, check with your doctor about adding chromium to your life to give your immune system some extra support.