Washington: A new research has stated that Chromium III, which is considered as an essential component of healthy diet, has no nutritional benefits.
A paper authored by University of Alabama strongly indicated that chromium, which the National Academies of Sciences accepted as an essential element in 1980, doesn’t have any nutritional value.
“This means that the status of chromium in numerous nutrition and related textbooks and in the dietary guidelines of the national academies and USDA (and similar agencies) will need to be rewritten,” said John Vincent, professor of chemistry at UA and a co-author of the study.
He conducted the study along with Jane Rasco, assistant professor of biological sciences at UA.
For study the researchers fed one group of rats a purified diet containing as little chromium (III) as practically possible for six months while closely monitoring the rat’s health through various measurements including blood tests.
In other rats, the researchers added varying amounts of chromium to the rats’ diets while monitoring their health.
“The diet that had as little chromium (III) as we could put in it and the diet that had an amount corresponding to a human taking a standard nutritional supplement with chromium had no effect on the rats. They had the same body mass, they ate the same amount of food, and they were able to metabolize glucose exactly the same. There were no differences in the health of the rats,” noted Vincent.
“Together with the results of other recent studies, these results clearly indicate that chromium can no longer be considered an essential element,” the researchers wrote in their paper’s abstract.
While the research showed chromium to have no nutritional benefit, Vincent said it did show in the rats the potential to have a therapeutic effect on diabetes when consumed in large doses.
Vincent referred to the sale of chromium nutritional supplements, such as chromium picolinate, as ‘misguided,’ based on current research, although further research into effects on diabetics could alter the situation, he said.
The research is publishing in the upcoming issue of Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.