Introduction: Chromium is an essential trace mineral for carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, which is currently prescribed to control diabetes mellitus. Results of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses of chromium supplementation and metabolic profiles in diabetes have been inconsistent.
Aim: The objective of this meta-analysis was to assess the effects on metabolic profiles and safety of chromium supplementation in type 2 diabetes mellitus and cholesterol.
Methods: Literature searches in PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science were made by use of related terms-keywords and randomized clinical trials during the period of 2000-2014.
Results: Thirteen trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this systematic review. Total doses of Cr supplementation and brewer's yeast ranged from 42 to 1,000 μg/day, and duration of supplementation ranged from 30 to 120 days. The analysis indicated that there was a significant effect of chromium supplementation in diabetics on fasting plasma glucose with a weighted average effect size of -29.26 mg/dL, p = 0.01, CI 95% = -52.4 to -6.09; and on total cholesterol with a weighted average effect size of -6.7 mg/dL, p = 0.01, CI 95% = -11.88 to -1.53.
Conclusions: The available evidence suggests favourable effects of chromium supplementation on glycaemic control in patients with diabetes.
Keywords: Cholesterol; Chromium; HbA1c; Hyperglycaemia; Randomized controlled trial; Type 2 diabetes.