Beneficial effects of oral chromium picolinate supplementation on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized clinical study

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015 Oct:32:66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 May 28.


Background: Chromium is an essential mineral that contributes to normal glucose function and lipid metabolism. This study evaluated the effect of chromium picolinate (CrPic) supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: A four month controlled, single blind, randomized trial was performed with 71 patients with poorly controlled (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c]>7%) T2DM divided into 2 groups: Control (n=39, using placebo), and supplemented (n=32, using 600μg/day CrPic). All patients received nutritional guidance according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and kept using prescribed medications. Fasting and postprandial glucose, HbA1c, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and serum ferritin were evaluated.

Results: CrPic supplementation significantly reduced the fasting glucose concentration (-31.0mg/dL supplemented group; -14.0mg/dL control group; p<0.05, post- vs. pre-treatment, in each group) and postprandial glucose concentration (-37.0mg/dL in the supplemented group; -11.5 mg/dL in the control group; p<0.05). HbA1c values were also significantly reduced in both groups (p<0.001, comparing post- vs. pre-treatment groups). Post-treatment HbA1c values in supplemented patients were significantly lower than those of control patients. HbA1c lowering in the supplemented group (-1.90), and in the control group (-1.00), was also significant, comparing pre- and post-treatment values, for each group (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). CrPic increased serum chromium concentrations (p<0.001), when comparing the supplemented group before and after supplementation. No significant difference in lipid profile was observed in the supplemented group; however, total cholesterol, HDL-c and LDL-c were significantly lowered, comparing pre- and post-treatment period, in the control group (p<0.05).

Conclusions: CrPic supplementation had a beneficial effect on glycemic control in patients with poorly controlled T2DM, without affecting the lipid profile. Additional studies are necessary to investigate the effect of long-term CrPic supplementation.

Keywords: Chromium picolinate; Dietary supplements; Dyslipidemia; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Picolinic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Picolinic Acids / therapeutic use*


  • Picolinic Acids
  • picolinic acid