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J Food Compost Anal. 2011 Dec;24(8):1147-1152.

Evaluation of the comprehensiveness and reliability of the chromium composition of foods in the literature ().

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Nutrition Coordinating Center, University of Minnesota, 1300 Second Street Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, United States.


In the early 1960s, trivalent chromium Cr(3+) became recognized as an essential trace element due to its potential metabolic and cardiovascular benefits. No comprehensive chromium database currently exists; thus a thorough review of the literature was conducted to examine the availability and reliability of chromium data for foods. A number of key issues were identified that challenge the feasibility of adding chromium to a food and nutrient database. Foremost, dietary chromium data reported in the literature prior to 1980 cannot be relied on because of problematic analytical issues before that time. Next, paucity of data emerged as an issue that could impede database completeness. Finally, large variation in reported chromium content of foods may render disputable representative chromium values. This variation has been speculated to originate from differences in growing and particularly processing foods. Furthermore, contamination of chromium from laboratory equipment and/or materials is possible and also believed to contribute to the variation observed in reported values. As a result, database developers must carefully consider the availability and reliability of information on the chromium composition of foods when deciding whether to incorporate chromium into or exclude it from a nutrient database.

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