Effect of chromium dinicocysteinate supplementation on circulating levels of insulin, TNF-α, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic subjects: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Aug;56(8):1333-41. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100719. Epub 2012 Jun 6.


Scope: Chromium and cysteine supplementation have been shown to improve glucose metabolism in animal studies. This study examined the hypothesis that chromium dinicocysteinate (CDNC), a complex of chromium and l-cysteine, is beneficial in lowering oxidative stress, vascular inflammation, and glycemia in type 2 diabetic subjects.

Methods and results: Type 2 diabetic subjects enrolled in this study were given placebo for 1 month for stabilization and then randomized into one of three groups: placebo (P), chromium picolinate (CP), or CDNC, after which they received daily oral supplementation for 3 months. Of the 100 patients enrolled in the study, 74 patients completed it. There were 25 patients in the P supplemented group, 25 in the CP supplemented and 24 in the CDNC supplemented group who completed the study. Blood markers of glycemia, vascular inflammation, HOMA insulin resistance, and oxidative stress were determined at randomization and after 3 months of supplementation with P, CP, or CDNC. There was a significant decrease at 3 months in insulin resistance (p = 0.02) and in the levels of protein oxidation (p = 0.02) and TNF-α (p = 0.01) in the CDNC supplemented cohort compared to baseline. However, there was no statistically significant change in these markers in the CP supplemented group compared to baseline. Insulin levels significantly decreased (p = 0.01) for subjects receiving CDNC but not CP. There was no significant impact of supplementation on HbA(1c) or glucose levels in either of the groups.

Conclusion: CDNC supplementation lowers insulin resistance by reducing blood levels of TNF-α, insulin, and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetic subjects. Therefore, CDNC supplementation has potential as an adjunct therapy for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cysteine / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • chromium dinicocysteinate
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Cysteine