Chromium Supplements Show Little Benefit in New Study

As dietitian Amy Campbell stated in her blog entry “Chromium Confusion,” the research on whether supplements of the mineral chromium can help people control their diabetes is “ever-changing.” Now the latest research on the topic, published in the May 2007 issue of Diabetes Care, has concluded that chromium supplementation is probably not helpful for most people with Type 2 diabetes.

In the study, which took place in the Netherlands, 56 people with Type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to receive either 400 micrograms of chromium yeast per day or a placebo (inactive pill). The study was double-blind, meaning that neither the participants nor the researchers knew who was receiving which treatment. At the start of the experiment, all participants had HbA1c levels of 7% to 8.5% and were treated with oral diabetes drugs.

Participants’ fasting blood glucose levels, HbA1c levels, blood pressure, body fat percentage, body-mass index, lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides), and insulin resistance were all measured three months and six months into the study. No differences were found at either point in any of these measures between the people who received chromium and the people who didn’t.

The researchers concluded that, at least in a Western population with relatively low HbA1c values, chromium supplementation has no added benefit as a diabetes therapy. The researchers hypothesize that this may be because most people in Western countries are able to get enough chromium from the food they eat. They say that further research is needed to develop a way to test people for chromium deficiency, in which case chromium supplements might be useful for enhancing diabetes control.

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  • gypseyjoe

    always looking for current updates ondiabetes.plus nutrition and eating habits.

  • Janice S. Wong R.N CDE

    Thank you for this article…some of the patients I see are always looking for quick fixes and spending money when they should save it….this will help me to talk to them…I hope the Diabetic Public understands that Diabetes has no quick fixes…it is a daily process we with Diabetes have to live with and it is up to us to do this….
    Thanks,
    Janice s Wong

  • Melvyn Lindley

    SINCE STARTING TO EAT 2 DRIED FIGS WITH EVERY MEAL I HAVE NOT HAD A POOR GLUCOSE READING. STRONGLY SUGGEST EVERYONE TRIES IT, IT IS DIFFICULT TO VISUALISE IT DOING ANY HARM

  • akk

    I have wasted lot of time and resources trying with Chromium.

  • velvetglass

    According to “Chromium Picolinate Everything you Need to Know” by Dr. Gary Evans research done on forms of chromium other than picolinate show no reason to try them. He says there is something about chromium picolinate that isn’t there in either chromium or picolinate by themselves but the combination proved helpful in his research.

    Here again we have a report on a chromium study that is not pointing out the form of chromium was chromium yeast.

    The study, which can be found at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/9/e102
    states a very different conclusion than what we read in the article above: that is chromium yeast is ineffective. This is not the same as saying, as above, that “chromium supplementation is probably not helpful” .

    Keep this straight as it’s very important. If you want to understand my point read this page as this guy seems to have already done all the homework: http://www.benbest.com/nutrceut/Chromium.html

  • Cordier Alain

    I totally agree with velvetglass. I am diabetic, my treatment is metformin + pioglitazone + chromium picolinate ( 300 mcg daily )under my physician supervision. Two weeks after,I took half dose of M+P. My blood sugar is better and my mood too. And less side effects. Every day of course I control my fasting blood sugar which is normal.

  • Subagio W

    It’s my experience.
    After consuming the supplement chromium picolinate 200mcg dose 2 times per day for 1 month, my blood glucosa down significantly.

    thanks.

  • autodidact

    One shouldn’t generalize negatively (or positively!) as the result of one study (or one blog post), as there are many variables for which one must account (e.g., type of chromium – chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, etc.), dosage, etc.

    For a more comprehensive article about chromium, please see the article at Diabetes Care which references at least 80 studies/publications re: Chromium and its efficacy.

    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/11/2741.full?ijkey=e836956c0028b084c2741ca34304bf42f7eaf15f&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

  • Gil

    This is what I thought the whole time!!!! thank you for posting this :)

  • Bill

    Thank you for this article…some of the patients I see are always looking for quick fixes and spending money when they should save it…