Biotin and chromium histidinate improve glucose metabolism and proteins expression levels of IRS-1, PPAR-γ, and NF-κB in exercise-trained rats

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Sep 15;15(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0249-4.


Background: Chromium histidinate (CrHis) and biotin are micronutrients commonly used to improve health by athletes and control glycaemia by patients with diabetes. This study investigates the effects of 8-week regular exercise training in rats together with dietary CrHis and biotin supplementation on glucose, lipids and transaminases levels, as well as protein expression levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ), insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) and nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-κB).

Methods: A total of 56 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 8 groups of 7 animals each and treated as follows: Control, CrHis, Biotin, CrHis+Biotin, Exercise, CrHis+Exercise, Biotin+Exercise, and CrHis+Biotin+Exercise. The doses of CrHis and biotin were 400 μg/kg and 6 mg/kg of diet, respectively. The training program consisted of running at 30 m/min for 30 min/day at 0% grade level, 5 days per week, once a day for 6 weeks. Serum glucose, total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), triglycerides (TG), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were measured with an automatic biochemical analyzer. Muscle and liver PPAR-γ, IRS-1 and NF-κB expressions were detected with real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Regular exercise significantly (p < 0.001) decreased glucose, TC and TG levels, but increased HDL cholesterol. Dietary CrHis and biotin supplementation exhibited a significant (p < 0.001) decrease in glucose (effect size = large; ƞ2 = 0.773) and TG (effect size = large; ƞ2 = 0.802) levels, and increase in HDL cholesterol compared with the exercise group. No significant change in AST and ALT (effect size = none) levels was recorded in all groups (p > 0.05). CrHis/biotin improves the proteins expression levels of IRS-1, PPAR-γ, and NF-κB (effect size: large for all) in the liver and muscle of sedentary and regular exercise-trained rats (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: CrHis/biotin supplementation improved serum glucose and lipid levels as well as proteins expression levels of PPAR-γ, IRS-1 and NF-κB in the liver and muscle of exercise-trained rats, with the highest efficiency when administered together. CrHis/biotin may represent an effective nutritional therapy to improve health.

Keywords: Biotin; Chromium Histidinate; IRS-1; NF-κB; PPAR-γ.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / pharmacology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Histidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Histidine / pharmacology
  • Insulin Receptor Substrate Proteins / metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Organometallic Compounds / pharmacology*
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin Receptor Substrate Proteins
  • Irs1 protein, rat
  • Lipids
  • NF-kappa B
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • PPAR gamma
  • chromium histidinate
  • Histidine
  • Biotin