What it does:

• Works with insulin to help your body use glucose, or blood sugar. See "Sugar: What Is It?" in chapter 5 to learn more about glucose.

If you don't get enough: Because chromium works closely with insulin, a deficiency can look like diabetes. See "Diabetes: A Growing Health Concern" in chapter 22 for more about diabetes.

If you consume excess amounts: Consuming harmful amounts from dietary sources is highly unlikely.

How much you need: A level of Adequate Intake (AI) has been set for chromium: 35 micrograms per day for males ages fourteen to fifty, and 30 micrograms per day from age fifty-one on. For females, 24 micrograms daily from ages fourteen to eighteen; 25 micrograms daily from ages nineteen through fifty; and 20 micro-grams daily from age fifty-one on. During pregnancy, the AI level is 5 micrograms daily higher; during breast-feeding, an additional 20 micrograms.

Where it's mostly found: Meat, eggs, whole-grain products, and cheese are all good sources.

Food Chromium (mcg)

Cheese, American (1 oz.) 48

Shredded wheat (1 oz.) 33

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