Can the effects of chromium compounds exposure be modulated by vitamins and microelements?
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Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition)
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Biological and Environmental Monitoring)
Online publication date: 2021-03-16
Corresponding author
Lucyna Kozłowska   

Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition, Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(4):461-90
Chromium (Cr) is a very common element. It occurs in 2 oxidation states, Cr(III) and Cr(VI). Although Cr(III) is not considered an element essential for mammals, it raises lots of controversy due to its role in the body. While Cr(III) action should be considered an effect of pharmacological action, Cr(VI) is included in the first group of carcinogens for humans. Moreover, it induces numerous pathological changes in the respiratory, urinary, reproductive and digestive systems. In addition, Cr(VI) is used in many industry branches, causing millions of workers all over the world to be exposed to Cr(VI) compounds. A considerable number of the occupationally exposed individuals are in favor of a deep analysis of the mechanisms of Cr(VI) action and a search for a way to reduce its negative impact on the human body. Numerous reactive oxygen species inducing oxidative stress and causing various damage are produced during Cr(VI) reduction in the cells. A good balance between antioxidants and pro-oxidants can reduce Cr(VI)-induced damage. The influence of vitamins and microelements on the adverse Cr(VI) effects has no systematic research results summary. Therefore, this work focuses on the role of dietary antioxidants such as vitamins and microelements in the prevention of Cr(VI) adverse health effects. Numerous studies have revealed a protective influence of vitamins (mainly vitamins E and C) as well as microelements (especially selenium) on the reduction of Cr(VI)-induced adverse changes. A potential protective effect of these ingredients may be useful in occupational groups that are particularly exposed to Cr(VI). However, more research in this area is required. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(4):461–90
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