A Double-Blind, Randomized Pilot Trial of Chromium Picolinate for Overweight Individuals with Binge-Eating Disorder: Effects on Glucose Regulation

J Diet Suppl. 2017 Mar 4;14(2):191-199. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2016.1207124. Epub 2016 Aug 11.


Purpose: Chromium treatment has been shown to improve glucose regulation in some populations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether chromium picolinate (CrPic) supplementation improves glucose regulation in overweight individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED).

Methods: In this double-blinded randomized pilot trial, participants (N = 24) were randomized to high (HIGH, 1000 mcg/day, n = 8) or moderate (MOD, 600 mcg/day, n = 9) dose of CrPic or placebo (PL, n = 7) for 6 months. Participants completed an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Fixed effects models were used to estimate mean change in glucose area under the curve (AUC), insulinAUC, and insulin sensitivity index (ISI).

Results: Results revealed a significant group and time interaction (p < 0.04) for glucoseAUC, with glucoseAUC increasing significantly in the PL group (p < 0.02) but decreasing significantly in the MOD group (p < 0.03) at 6 months. InsulinAUC increased significantly over time (main effect, p < 0.02), whereas ISI decreased significantly over time (main effect, p < 0.03).

Conclusion: As anticipated, a moderate dose of CrPic was associated with improved glycemic control, whereas PL was associated with decreased glycemic control. It was unexpected that the improved glycemic control seen in the MOD dose group was not seen in the HIGH dose group. However, although participants randomized to the HIGH dose group did not have improved glycemic control, they had better glycemic control than participants randomized to the PL group. These findings support the need for larger trials.

Keywords: alternative medicine; binge-eating disorder; chromium; glucose.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / blood
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / complications
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / drug therapy*
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Picolinic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Picolinic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Picolinic Acids
  • picolinic acid