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Chromium is a mineral required by the body in trace amounts for optimal health, although it's specific function is not fully understood. This type of chromium is not to be confused with the toxic form of chromium that results from industrial pollution. The body uses chromium along with insulin to help regulated blood sugar levels. Chromium also appears to be involved in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

Food sources
Chromium is found in a wide range of foods, and therefore most people will consume enough of the mineral without the need to target specific foods. Nevertheless, the best sources of chromium include tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes and red meat. Apples, oranges and bananas also have good chromium content.

Daily requirement
There are currently no UK or European Commission set daily recommendations for the mineral Chromium. In the United States, adult women are advised to consume in the region of about 25 mcg of chromium per day.

Deficiency
Chromium deficiency is very rare because of the mineral's prevalence in so many of the foods that we commonly eat. Hospitalized patients who are fed intravenously for a significant period of time can develop chromium deficiency. Many hospitals now add chromium supplements to their intravenous solutions to prevent this from happening.

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