Nutritional factors influencing the glucose/insulin system: chromium

J Am Coll Nutr. 1997 Oct;16(5):404-10. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1997.10718705.


Chromium (Cr) improves the glucose/insulin system in subjects with hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, diabetes and hyperlipemia with no detectable effects on control subjects. Chromium improves insulin binding, insulin receptor number, insulin internalization, beta cell sensitivity and insulin receptor enzymes with overall increases in insulin sensitivity. There have been several studies involving Cr supplementation of subjects with NIDDM and/or lipemia and most have reported beneficial effects of Cr on the glucose/insulin system. In a recent study, Chinese subjects with NIDDM were divided into three groups of 60 subjects and supplemented with placebo, 100 or 500 micrograms of Cr as chromium picolinate 2 times per day for 4 months. Improvements in the glucose/insulin system were highly significant in the subjects receiving 500 micrograms twice per day with less or no significant improvements in the subjects receiving 100 micrograms twice per day after 2 and 4 months. In summary, Cr is involved in the control of the glucose/insulin system and the amount, and likely form of chromium, are critical when evaluating the role of chromium in this system.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Chromium / administration & dosage*
  • Chromium / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Requirements


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Chromium