The UK dietary guidelines for adequate daily chromium intake for an adult are 30–35 µg for men and 20–25 µg for women. Chromium is found in many foods and very few individuals in the West report suffering from chromium deficiency. Approximately 2% of chromium ingested 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, some of 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

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 as sucrose and fructose, both of which increase 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 very low absorption rates of most forms of chromium, toxicity is uncommon.