Elevated intakes of supplemental chromium improve glucose and insulin variables in individuals with type 2 diabetes.



Authors: Anderson RA, Cheng N, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Cheng N, Chi J, Feng J.

Chromium is an essential nutrient involved in normal carbohydrate and lipid
metabolism. The chromium requirement is postulated to increase with increased
glucose intolerance and diabetes. The objective of this study was to test the
hypothesis that the elevated intake of supplemental chromium is involved in the
control of type 2 diabetes. Individuals being treated for type 2 diabetes (180
men and women) were divided randomly into three groups and supplemented with: 1)
placebo, 2) 1.92 micromol (100 microg) Cr as chromium picolinate two times per
day, or 3) 9.6 micromol (500 microg) Cr two times per day. Subjects continued to
take their normal medications and were instructed not to change their normal
eating and living habits. HbA1c values improved significantly after 2 months in
the group receiving 19.2 pmol (1,000 microg) Cr per day and was lower in both
chromium groups after 4 months (placebo, 8.5 +/- 0.2%; 3.85 micromol Cr, 7.5 +/-
0.2%; 19.2 micromol Cr, 6.6 +/- 0.1%). Fasting glucose was lower in the
19.2-micromol group after 2 and 4 months (4-month values: placebo, 8.8 +/- 0.3
mmol/l; 19.2 micromol Cr, 7.1 +/- 0.2 mmol/l). Two-hour glucose values were also
significantly lower for the subjects consuming 19.2 micromol supplemental Cr
after both 2 and 4 months (4-month values: placebo, 12.3 +/- 0.4 mmo/l; 19.2
micromol Cr, 10.5 +/- 0.2 mmol/l). Fasting and 2-h insulin values decreased
significantly in both groups receiving supplemental chromium after 2 and 4
months. Plasma total cholesterol also decreased after 4 months in the subjects
receiving 19.2 micromol/day Cr. These data demonstrate that supplemental chromium
had significant beneficial effects on HbA1c, glucose, insulin, and cholesterol
variables in subjects with type 2 diabetes. The beneficial effects of chromium in
individuals with diabetes were observed at levels higher than the upper limit of
the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake.

Diabetes. 1997 Nov;46(11):1786-91.