Reported Chromium Intakes Of The Elderly

Chromium needs of elderly persons have been investigated in two studies. In one of these, dietary intake and excretion of 22 apparently healthy men and women aged 70-85 were measured for a 5-day period using duplicate diet techniques [31]. Chromium was analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy and National Bureau of Standards reference materials were monitored for quality control. Mean daily chromium intake for men was 29.8 ^g and for women was 20.1 ^g. Men were not statistically significantly different from women. The overall average intake was 24.5 ^g/day or 12.8 ^g/1000kcal and the overall mean retention of chromium was 0.2 ^g/day. The authors reported that 16 of the 22 subjects were in equilibrium for chromium. Three more were in positive balance. Two subjects were in slight negative balance and one was in severe negative balance. The subject in severe negative balance consumed a very high fiber diet suggesting the need for further study of the effects of high fiber diets on chromium absorption.

A chromium balance study was conducted for 12 days in a metabolic unit with two ambulatory adult males, aged 62 and 66 years. Each man had received a constant metabolic diet containing 15.3 |gCr/1000kcal for the previous 3 months and this diet was continued through the study. Urinary chromium was 0.30 and 0.28 |g/day respectively, or 0.8% of intake. Apparent net retention of chromium was positive, at 0.6 and 0.2 |g/day respectively, indicating equilibrium [32].

Median energy intakes for men and women of 50-70 years of age are 2100 and 1500kcal/day, respectively [10]. Intakes for men and women older than 70 years of age are 1700 and 1300kcal/day, respectively [10]. The highest energy value for the ages above 50 was used as a basis for the chromium AI. Prevalence of glucose intolerance increases with aging [33] and a number of studies suggest that chromium needs of the elderly might be higher than those of young people. Bunker [31] found the most negative chromium balance in a person consuming a high fiber diet. Several medications may interfere with chromium absorption [34, 35], and chromium in hair seems to decrease with age [36].

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