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.
What Is Chromium? Chromium is a mineral that must be obtained in the diet and is required for life.
What Does Chromium 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 a Chromium 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 Chromium‘s 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 Chromium‘s 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 of a Chromium Defieicency? Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.
Is There Any Laboratory Testing for a Chromium Deficiency? Laboratory testing can reveal the presence of a deficiency or environmental toxicity of this nutrient.