The UK dietary guidelines for adequate daily chromium intake for an adult to 30–35 µg (adult male) and to 20–25 µg (adult female). Chromium is found in many food so consequently, it is thought that few individual in the west are chromium deficient.

Approximately 2% of chromium of ingested chromium (III) is absorbed, with the remainder being excreted in the faeces.


Dietary advice:

Most of the chromium in people’s diet comes from processing or storing food in pans and cans made of steel which can contain up to 18% chromium. Trivalent chromium is found in a wide range of foods, including:

  • Whole-grain products such as breakfast cereals
  • Coffee
  • Meats
  • Nuts
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spices
  • Most fruits and vegetables and dairy products only contain low amounts.


Factors that decrease chromium absorption

The amount of chromium in the body can be decreased as a result of a diet high in processed and simple sugars such sucrose and fructose which increases the excretion of the metal through urine.

Factors that increase chromium absorption
Amino acids, vitamin C and niacin may enhance the uptake of chromium from the intestinal tract. After absorption, this metal accumulates in the liver, bone, and spleen. Because of the high excretion rates and the very low absorption rates of most forms of chromium, toxicity is uncommon