Chromium picolinate supplementation for diabetes mellitus

J Fam Pract. 1998 Jan;46(1):83-6.


Chromium picolinate is a widely available nutritional supplement marketed for a plethora of afflictions. There is some evidence, including results from human studies, that it has a role in glucose homeostasis. We report the case of a 28-year-old woman with an 18-year history of type 1 diabetes mellitus whose glycosylated hemoglobin (Hb A1c) declined from 11.3% to 7.9% 3 months after initiation of chromium picolinate, 200 micrograms 3 times daily. Chromium picolinate continues to fall squarely within the scope of "alternative medicine," with both unproven benefits and unknown risks. It deserves closer scrutiny with additional prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to evaluate its efficacy in improving outcomes in patients with diabetes. A brief review of the literature was done to assist physicians who are being called upon to counsel and treat patients who are engaging in alternative therapies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Picolinic Acids / metabolism
  • Picolinic Acids / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Picolinic Acids
  • Glucose
  • picolinic acid