This mineral is the only ore of
chromium, a metal that is one of the most recently recognized essential
nutrients. Studies have shown that chromium is important for insulin function.
It is often lost in food-refining processes.
The only ore of chromium, brownish-black Chromite is found across the world.
The metal chromium was only recognized as essential to man in the 1960s. The first
convincing evidence came from experiments showing that rats fed a chromium-deficient diet develop symptoms similar to diabetes. Other tests have shown that people with
diabetes tolerate sugar better when given extra chromium. However, because there are no clear-cut deficiency symptoms, no one is sure how much we need.
Supplements are taken to ensure an adequate chromium intake when ability to absorb nutrients is reduced,
such as in cystic fibrosis, or when need may be higher, such as in diabetes.