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KemTRACE® Chromium for Health and Immunity in Beef Cattle

KemTRACE® Chromium is a highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium that helps improve glucose utilization for increased cellular energy and function. This results in better animal maintenance, growth and immunity.

KemTRACE Chromium is supported by more than 20 years of Kemin research. 



Animals with Frequent Immune Challenges May Experience:

In order to combat an immune challenge,

an active immune system in a Holstein steer requires more than two pounds of glucose over a 24-hour period. The glucose meant for economically relevant tissues will instead be used to support this immune function, reducing total production and profitability.1

Impact of Chromium on Immunity

Feedlot cattle are often faced with immune challenges demanding an increase in energy efficiency to prevent sickness. During these challenges, glucose metabolism increases, thus increasing chromium utilization and ultimately leading to a chromium deficiency. Research conducted at Texas Tech University suggests that supplementing the diet with chromium propionate enhances the acute phase response of steers to an immune challenge (Figure 1).3

Figure 1. Acute phase response of steers to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge.3

Additional studies examining stressed beef cattle reported that the number of steers treated at least once tended to linearly decrease with increasing chromium propionate supplementation. Supplementation of chromium propionate reduced the number of steers treated at least once by 18.37 percent compared to non-supplemented steers (Table 1).4

Table 1. Chromium performance and morbidity.

* A chromium effect (P ≤ 0.14) was detected.
** A chromium effect (P ≤ 0.05) was detected.

The Bottom Line

Mounting an immune response is energetically taxing and requires the reprioritization of nutrients that would otherwise be destined for productive purposes.1 Upon activation, immune cells become obligate glucose utilizers.5 Improved glucose availability to active immune cells increases their longevity and function.6-9 Chromium supplementation primarily acts to improve insulin sensitivity, so more glucose can enter the cell. The additional glucose allows more energy to be available for proper cell function.


Effects of Chromium Propionate Suppleme...
The Effect of Chromium Propionate Suppl...
Estimating Glucose Requirements of an A...
The Effect of Insulin Sensitivity on He...


Dr. Lance Baumgard

Iowa State University

Professor of Animal Science

Dr. Jeff Carroll

USDA-ARS, Livestock Research Unit

Research Leader



1S. K. Kvidera, E. A. Horst, M. Abuajamieh, E. J. Mayorga, M. V. Sanz Fernandez, and L. H. Baumgard. Technical note: A procedure to estimate glucose requirements of an activated immune system in steers. J. Anim. Sci. 2016.94:4591–4599.
2Kluger, M.J. and B.A. Rothenburg. 1979. Fever and reduced iron: Their interaction as a host defense response to bacterial infection. Science 203(4378):374–376.
3Burdick NC, Bernhard BC, Carroll JA, Rathmann RJ, Johnson BJ. Enhancement of the acute phase response to a lipopolysaccharide challenge in steers supplemented with chromium. Innate Immunity. 2012 Aug;18(4):592-601. doi: 10.1177/1753425911428964. Epub 2011 Dec 16.
4Bernhard BC, Burdick NC, Rounds W, Rathmann RJ, Carroll JA, Finck DN, Jennings MA, Young TR, Johnson BJ. Chromium supplementation alters the performance and health of feedlot cattle during the receiving period and enhances their metabolic response to and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. J. Anim. Sci. 90:3879-3888.
5Palsson-McDermott, E. M., and L. A. O’Neill. 2013. The Warburg effect then and now: From cancer to inflammatory diseases. BioEssays 35:965–973.
6Sagone, A. L., A. F. LoBuglio, and S. P. Balcerzak. 1974. Alterations in hexose monophosphate shunt during lymphoblastic transformation. Cell. Immunol. 14:443–452. Sheldon, I. M., E. J. Williams, A.
7Furukawa, S., H. Saito, T. Matsuda, T. Inoue, K. Fukatsu, I. Han, S. Ikeda, A. Hidemura, and T. Muto. 2000. Relative effects of glucose and glutamine on reactive oxygen intermediate production by neutrophils. Shock 13:274–278.
8Healy, D. A., R. W. Watson, and P. Newsholme. 2002. Glucose, but not glutamine, protects against spontaneous and anti-Fas antibody induced apoptosis in human neutrophils. Clin. Sci. 103:179–189.
9Garcia, M., T. H. Elsasser, Y. Qu, X. Zhu, and K. M. Moyes. 2015. Glucose supplementation has minimal effects on blood neutrophil function and gene expression in vitro. J. Dairy Sci. 98:6139–6150.

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