Summary

Chromium is a mineral that must be obtained in the diet and is required for life. Chromium is a cofactor for an enzyme that improves tissue sensitivity to insulin. Only trace amounts of chromium is required, and deficiency does not occur outside of artificial settings, such as prolonged TPN devoid of chromium. Levels of chromium in hair are lower in individuals with ASD, however, the role of chromium in ASD treatment is not well studied. Individuals with ASD sometimes have inadequate nutrition, and chromium is added in Spectrum Needs in order to provide broad-based nutritional supplementation. Chromium is sometimes recommended for a variety of different conditions, particularly those related to insulin resistance and sometimes for mental disorders. Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation. Side effects are not expected at the doses present in Spectrum Needs.

Chromium in Spectrum Needs

Chromium is added in order to provide a wide basis of nutrition. Diets in children with autism are often deficient in essential nutrients. Side effects are unexpected.

The Details

What Is It? Chromium is a mineral that must be obtained in the diet and is required for life.

What Does It Do? Chromium is a cofactor for an enzyme called chromodulin, which improves tissue sensitivity to insulin and facilitates glucose (sugar) transport into cells.

What Does Deficiency Appear as? Only trace amounts of chromium are required, and deficiency does not occur outside of artificial settings, such as prolonged total parenteral nutrition (TPN) whereas chromium was absent from the solution. These individuals developed abnormal glucose utilization and increased insulin requirements that responded to chromium supplementation.

What About Its Use in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Levels of chromium in hair are lower in individuals with ASD (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28665792; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27581303), however, the role of chromium in ASD treatment is not well studied.

What About Its Use in Other Conditions? Chromium is sometimes recommended for a variety of different conditions, particularly those related to insulin resistance, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, and lowering "bad" and raising "good" cholesterol levels. Chromium is sometimes recommended in mental disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and binge eating disorder. Some people try chromium for body conditioning or to improve athletic performance.

What Are the Common and/or Important Side Effects? Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.

Is There Any Laboratory Testing? Laboratory testing can reveal the presence of a deficiency or environmental toxicity of this nutrient.

How and Why is this Nutrient Used in Spectrum Needs

Chromium is added to Spectrum Needs in order to provide a wide basis of nutrition. Diets in children with autism are often deficient in essential nutrients. Side effects are unexpected at the doses used in Spectrum Needs.