Benefits of Chromium for Dairy Cattle

Chromium supplementation for dairy cattle results in better animal maintenance, growth, reproduction and immunity. KemTRACE® Chromium is a highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium that helps reduce the negative impacts of stress for improved health and performance. 

All chromium is not created equal. KemTRACE Chromium is:

  • Fed to millions of animals around the globe since its introduction in 2000
  • Registered in more than 35 countries worldwide
  • Supported by more than 20 years of Kemin research
  • The only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-reviewed form of chromium propionate


Made in the United States, KemTRACE Chromium is available in two product concentrations:

  • 0.04% for use in complete diets
  • 0.4% for use in a premix prior to inclusion in complete diets


KemTRACE® Chromium-OR — an OMRI Listed®, organic-compliant form of chromium propionate — is also available in the U.S. for use in organic dairy cattle diets.





Insulin acts as a "key" that unlocks the cell "door," allowing blood glucose to enter and be used as energy. Chromium improves insulin function and results in efficient clearance of glucose from the bloodstream leading to more cellular energy where your cattle need it.1


Unlocking more energy:

  • Enhances reproduction — Chromium supplementation has been shown to reduce insulin resistance in dairy cows in early lactation,2 reduce subclinical metritis,3 improve conception rates and pregnancy rates,4 reduce days to first service, and increase the number of viable oocytes in cows supplemented with high-energy diets.5
  • Improves immune function — Upon activation, immune cells become obligate glucose utilizers.6 Increased glucose uptake may help animals mount an immune response even under a severe immune challenge.
  • Maximizes feed efficiency — Chromium supplementation for dairy cattle has been shown to alter insulin action and either increase dry matter intake or minimize a drop in feed intake among animals subjected to stress.7,8,9
  • Helps mitigate heat stress  Research studies have shown cows supplemented with chromium during heat stress situations increased dry matter intake and yield more milk than control cows.10
  • Positively impacts milk response — Research has shown chromium supplementation is beneficial for improving milk yield in transition cows. 



Why the Mode of Action Matters

By understanding a product's mode of action, you can be confident that it will provide benefits for your animals. See the KemTRACE Chromium mode of action at work.

KemTRACE Chromium Mode of Action

KemTRACE Chromium mode of action for dairy cattle

Explore Years of Knowledge and Research

Download the literature below to unlock more about KemTRACE Chromium.

KemTRACE® Chromium 0.4% Spec Sheet


KemTRACE® Chromium 0.04% Spec Sheet


KemTRACE® Chromium-OR 0.4% Spec Sheet


KemTRACE® Chromium-OR 0.04% Spec Sheet


Chromium for Dairy Literature

KemTRACE® Chromium for Dairy 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, reproduction, growth and immunity.


Chromium supplementation has also been shown to improve energy utilization and reduce the impact of negative energy balance in early lactation.


KemTRACE® Chromium Mode of Action


Insulin plays a key role in optimum cell function by acting as a “key” in the lock to the door that allows glucose into the cell. 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.


KemTRACE® Chromium: Essential for Your Dairy


The dietary trace element, chromium, is necessary to optimize the activation of the insulin receptor so more glucose can get into the cell. Adding supplemental KemTRACE® Chromium to the diet provides the additional chromium for insulin receptor activation.


Chromium and Dairy Reproduction Literature

Evaluation of Chromium Propionate on Reproductive Performance of Holstein Cows


A field trial was conducted on an 800-cow Holstein dairy in southeastern Pennsylvania to evaluate the effect of chromium propionate on reproductive performance. An increase in pregnancy rate was observed that was driven by an increase in conception rates.


How Chromium Can Impact Reproduction


Worldwide, the poor reproductive performance of dairy herds has become a major concern, especially in Holstein herds. Decline in conception rate and increase in calving interval over the last decades have been confirmed by several studies. Infertility is the number one reason for culling dairy cows in the U.S., and it is estimated to cost the U.S. dairy industry half-a-billion dollars annually. Learn how chromium can impact performance and ultimately provide a positive return on investment.


Chromium in the News

Progressive Dairyman: Minimizing the Negative Effects of Stress on Herd Health and Productivity


Understanding the relationship between stress, immunity and reproductive herd health is paramount to discovering nutritional management best practices for your dairy herd. Chromium supplementation primarily acts to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the release of stress hormones, both of which enhance reproductive health.


Progressive Dairyman: An Update on Chromium


Ohio State researchers list the following nine trace minerals as being needed by dairy cattle: chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Chromium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism by stabilizing insulin receptors that allow glucose to enter the cell.


Dairy Business: Chromium Supplementation in Dairy Cattle Diets


Learn about how the addition of chromium can enhance milk production, fertility, immunity and the producer's bottom line.


Feedstuffs: Can Chromium Help with Insulin Sensitivity?


Supplemental chromium increases the sensitivity of body tissues, enhancing glucose uptake. It reduces mobilization of fat, lowering blood NEFA levels.


Progressive Dairyman: Get to know about Supplementing Chromium: Metabolic Effects and Potential Benefits


Supplementation of dairy cattle diets with chromium propionate has considerable potential to improve glucose and NEFA metabolism, dry matter intake and milk yield, particularly in transition cows. Improvements in glucose and NEFA metabolism also have implications for better reproduction and reduced health incidences.




1Mertz, W. (1992). Chromium: History and nutritional importance. Biological Trace Element Research. 32:3-8.
2Hayirli, A., D. R. Bremmer, S. J. Bertics, M. T. Socha and R. R. Grummer. (2001, May). Effect of chromium supplementation on production and metabolic parameters in periparturient dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science. 84(5):1218-1230.
3Yasui, T., et al. (2014, Oct.). Effects of chromium propionate supplementation during the periparturient period and early lactation on metabolism, performance, and cytological endometritis in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science. 97(10):6400-6410.
4Ferguson, J. (2013) Evaluation of KemTRACE brand chromium propionate on milk production by Holstein cows under heat stress conditions in Pennsylvania. (Abstract T356). Journal of Animal Science 91:E-s2/Journal of Dairy Science 96:E-s1.
5Leiva, T., et al. (2015, Oct.). Effects of excessive energy intake and supplementation with chromium propionate on insulin resistance parameters, milk production, and reproductive outcomes of lactating dairy cows. Livestock Science. 180:121-128.
6Palsson-McDermott, E. M. and L. A. O’Neill. (2013, Nov.). The Warburg effect then and now: From cancer to inflammatory diseases. BioEssays. 35(11):965-973.
7Al-Saiady, M. Y., et al. (2004, Dec.). Effect of chelated chromium supplementation on lactation performance and blood parameters of Holstein cows under heat stress. Animal Feed Science and Technology. 117(3-4):223-233.
8An-Qiang, L., W. Zhi-Sheng and Z. An-Guo. (2009). Effect of chromium picolinate supplementation on early lactation performance, rectal temperatures, respiration rates and plasma biochemical response of Holstein cows under heat stress. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 8(7):940-945.
9Vargas-Rodriguez, C. F., et al. (2014). Effects of supplemental chromium propionate and rumen-protected amino acids on productivity, diet digestibility, and energy balance of peak-lactation dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science. 97:3815-3821.
10KemTRACE Chromium — How Does Supplemental Chromium Impact Milk Yield During Heat Stress? BR-2015-00066.
11Weekes, T. E. C. (1991). Hormonal control of glucose metabolism (symposium paper). 7th International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology. 183.

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