Chromium-picolinate therapy in diabetes care: individual outcomes require new guidelines and navigation by predictive diagnostics

Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2012 Oct;12(5):332-9. doi: 10.2174/187152612804142215.


Aims: Nephropathy is the leading secondary complication of metabolic syndrome. Nutritional supplement by chromium-picolinate is assumed to have renoprotective effects. However, potential toxic effects reported increase the concerns about the safety of chromium-picolinate. The experimental design aimed at determining, whether the treatment with clinically relevant doses of chromium-picolinate can harm individual oucomes through DNA damage and extensive alterations in central detoxification / cell-cycle regulating pathways in treatment of diabetes.

Methods: The study was performed in a double-blind manner. Well-acknowledged animal model of db/db-mice and clinically relevant doses of chromium- picolinate were used. As an index of DNA-damage, measurement of DNA-breaks was performed using "Comet Assay"-analysis. Individual and group-specific expression patterns of SOD-1 and P53 were evaluated to get insights into central detoxification and cell-cycle regulating pathways under the treatment conditions.

Results: Experimental data revealed highly individual reaction towards the treatment conditions. The highest variability of DNA-damage was monitored under the prolonged treatment with high dosage of CrPic. Expression patterns demonstrated a correlation with the subcellular imaging and dosage-dependent suppression under the chromium-picolinate treatment. INTERPRETATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Population at-risk for diabetes is huge and increasing in pandemic scale. One of the reasons might be the failed attempt to prevent the disease by application of artificial supplements and drugs with hardly recognised individual risks. Consequently, a multimodal approach of integrative medicine by predictive diagnostics, targeted prevention and individually created treatment algorithms is highly desirable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Breaks / drug effects
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Picolinic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Picolinic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Picolinic Acids
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Sod1 protein, mouse
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • picolinic acid