Background: Preclinical studies have shown that the combination of chromium picolinate and biotin significantly enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells and enhances glucose disposal. The present pilot study was conducted to determine if supplementation with chromium picolinate and biotin can improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with suboptimal glycemic control despite use of oral antihyperglycemic agents.
Methods: Forty-three subjects with impaired glycemic control (2-h glucose >200 mg/dL; glycated hemoglobin >or=7%), despite treatments with oral antihyperglycemic agents, were randomized to receive 600 microg of chromium as chromium picolinate and biotin (2 mg/day) (Diachrome(, Nutrition 21, Inc., Purchase, NY) in addition to their prestudy oral antihyperglycemic agent therapy. Measurements of glycemic control and blood lipids were taken at baseline and after 4 weeks.
Results: After 4 weeks, there was a significantly greater reduction in the total area under the curve for glucose during the 2-h oral glucose tolerance test for the treatment group (mean change -9.7%) compared with the placebo group (mean change +5.1%, P < 0.03). Significantly greater reductions were also seen in fructosamine (P < 0.03), triglycerides (P < 0.02), and triglycerides/ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (P < 0.05) in the treatment group. No significant adverse events were attributed to chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation.
Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates that supplementation with a combination of chromium picolinate and biotin in poorly controlled patients with diabetes receiving antidiabetic therapy improved glucose management and several lipid measurements. Chromium picolinate/ biotin supplementation may represent an effective adjunctive nutritional therapy to people with poorly controlled diabetes with the potential for improving lipid metabolism.