Chromium picolinate does not improve key features of metabolic syndrome in obese nondiabetic adults

Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2009 Apr;7(2):143-50. doi: 10.1089/met.2008.0048.


Background: The use of chromium-containing dietary supplements is widespread among patients with type 2 diabetes. Chromium's effects in patients at high risk for developing diabetes, especially those with metabolic syndrome, is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of chromium picolinate (CrPic) on glucose metabolism in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Method: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was conducted at a U.S. academic medical center. Sixty three patients with National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III)-defined metabolic syndrome were included. The primary end point was a change in the insulin sensitivity index derived from a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test. Prespecified secondary end points included changes in other measurements of glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, fasting serum lipids, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Results: After 16 weeks of CrPic treatment, there was no significant change in insulin sensitivity index between groups (P = 0.14). However, CrPic increased acute insulin response to glucose (P 0.02). CrPic had no significant effect on other measures of glucose metabolism, body weight, serum lipids, or measures of inflammation and oxidative stress.

Conclusion: CrPic at 1000 microg/day does not improve key features of the metabolic syndrome in obese nondiabetic patients.

Trial registration: NCT00128154.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Philadelphia
  • Picolinic Acids / adverse effects
  • Picolinic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Picolinic Acids
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • picolinic acid

Associated data