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Merck Manual

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Chromium Excess


Larry E. Johnson

, MD, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
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Chromium excess occurs when the body has too much of the mineral chromium.

Chromium enables insulin (which controls blood sugar levels) to function and helps in the processing (metabolism) and storage of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Chromium supplements do not enhance muscle size or strength.

Small amounts of chromium taken by mouth are not harmful (nontoxic). In the workplace, people may be exposed to a different, harmful (toxic) form of chromium. This form results from industrial pollution. This form may irritate the skin, cartilage of the nose, lungs, and digestive tract and may cause lung cancer.

(See also Overview of Minerals.)

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