Effect of chromium supplementation on blood glucose and lipid levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus elderly patients

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2004 May;74(3):178-82. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.74.3.178.


Intervention trials have shown the beneficial effects of chromium supplementation in type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus). This study investigated the effects of chromium picolinate on elderly diabetic patients within a rehabilitation program. Thirty-nine diabetic subjects, average age 73 years (18 males and 21 females), undergoing rehabilitation following stroke or hip fracture, were recruited to participate in this study. An additional 39 diabetic patients constituted the control group. Along with standard treatment for diabetes, the study group received 200 microg of chromium twice a day for a three-week period. Blood samples, dietary intake, and anthropometric data were collected prior to and post-intervention. Throughout the study period, participants received a diet of approximately 1500 kcal/day. Significant differences in the fasting blood level of glucose compared to the baseline (190 mg/dL vs 150 mg/dL, p < 0.001) were found at the end of the study. HbA1c also improved from 8.2% to 7.6% (p < 0.01). Total cholesterol was also reduced from 235 mg/dL to 213 mg/dL (p < 0.02). A trend towards lowered triglyceride levels was also observed (152 mg/dL vs 136 mg/dL). We conclude that, in this population of elderly, diabetic patients undergoing rehabilitation, dietary supplementation with chromium is beneficial in moderating glucose intolerance. In addition, chromium intake appears to lower plasma lipid levels.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Chromium / administration & dosage*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Chromium