Purpose: Chromium (Cr) as an essential trace element in metabolism of carbohydrate, lipid and protein is currently prescribed to control diabetes mellitus (DM). The objective of this meta-analysis was to compare the effect of Cr versus placebo (Pl) on glucose and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 DM.
Methods: Literature searches in PubMed, Scopus, Scirus, Google Scholar and IranMedex was made by use of related terms during the period of 2000-2012. Eligible studies were randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with intake of Cr higher than 250 µg at least for three months in type 2 DM. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting blood sugar (FBS), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), triglyceride (TG), and body mass index (BMI) were the main outcomes.
Results: Seven out of 13 relevant studies met the criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. HbA1c change in diabetic patients in Cr supplement therapy comparing to Pl was -0.33 with 95%CI= -0.72 to 0.06 (P= 0.1). Change of FBG in Cr therapy vs. Pl was -0.95 with 95%CI= -1.42 to -0.49 (P< 0.0001). TC change in Cr therapy vs. Pl was 0.07 with 95%CI= -0.16 to 0.31 (P= 0.54). TG change in diabetic patients in Cr supplement therapy comparing to Pl was -0.15 with 95%CI= -0.36 to 0.07 (P= 0.18).
Conclusions: Cr lowers FBS but does not affect HbA1c, lipids and BMI.