Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094
December 2013 Special Anniversary Review Issue Vol. 2(12): pp. 299-306
Copyright © 2015 Global Advanced Research Journals
Chromium in Livestock Nutrition: A Review
Department of Animal Science Delta State University, Asaba Campus, Delta State Nigeria
Accepted 02 December, 2013
In the last two decades livestock nutritionists have been dealing not only with how to improve production efficiency, but also how to improve the nutritional profile of livestock and livestock products. Recently there has been considerable research interest in the utilization of chromium in livestock feed. Beneficial effects of chromium in human health are well documented and include a role in the maintenance of normal blood and sugar cholesterol levels. Chromium is a naturally occurring heavy metal commonly found in the trivalent state (Cr3+) and the hexavalent state (Cr4+). The hexavalent state compounds have been implicated in occupational carcinogen among workers in chrome plating, stainless steel and pigment industries. This paper looks at the nutritional benefits of chromium in the diet of livestock. Studies have shown that chromium is involved in glucose metabolism where it plays a vital role in the auto amplification mechanisms of insulin signaling. Chromium has also been shown to improve immune function. Chromium alters immune response by immunostimulatory or immunosuppressive processes as shown by its effects on T and B lymphocytes, macrophages, cytokine production and immune responses that may induce hypersensitivity reactions. Chromium has been shown to have positive effects on egg production, egg quality and egg cholesterol levels in laying hens. Chromium has also been shown to play a key role in lipid, protein and nucleic acid metabolism in livestock. In ruminants, chromium positively affects milk production in cows and has a profound effect on calf growth. In swine, chromium has been shown to have a positive effect on growth and carcass composition. Organic sources of chromium have been found to be highly bioavailable. Generally, chromium supplementation has been shown to alleviate the negative effects of stress by improving the performance and health of livestock leading to better farm profitability.
Keywords: Trivalent chromium, glucose, lipid, protein and nucleic acid metabolism, immune response and immune function, egg production, egg cholesterol levels, milk production, calf growth, carcass composition, stress alleviation.