Results from a new study in patients with type 2 diabetes demonstrate that daily supplementation with 1000 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate , in combination with a common oral anti-diabetic medication, improves insulin sensitivity and glucose control better than the oral anti-diabetic agent alone.
The study, conducted by researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) and the University of Vermont College of Medicine, is published in the August issue of Diabetes Care, an official journal of the American Diabetes Association.
The study also found that chromium picolinate significantly reduced the weight gain typically associated with the use of a commonly prescribed antidiabetic medication.1 These findings are significant as more than two-thirds of people with type 2 diabetes are not at the suggested goal for their blood sugar. Additionally, more than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, which can significantly increase their risk of disease-related complications, including cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death amongst patients with diabetes.
"The results further support that chromium may serve as a safe and effective adjunct to medication in helping people with type 2 diabetes improve their blood sugar control. In patients who take a sulfonylurea to control elevated blood sugar, weight gain is common. However, the study findings show that weight gain was less with use of supplemental chromium," said study investigator, William Cefalu, MD, chief of the Center's Division of Nutrition and Chronic Diseases. "Also important is that chromium picolinate helped reduce abdominal fat accumulation, which is associated with a greater risk for other conditions such as abnormal lipids and hypertension."
The 40-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, study was designed to examine the effect of adding daily chromium picolinate supplementation to an antidiabetic medication.1 Sulfonylurea, a commonly prescribed treatment for type 2 diabetes, was given to 29 subjects for 24 weeks, in conjunction with chromium picolinate or a matching placebo (sugar pill).1 Blood sugar levels of study participants taking chromium picolinate in combination with the antidiabetic medication dropped significantly compared to the group taking the medication plus placebo (-31.00 + 7.37 mg/dL vs. -11.33 + 8.03 mg/dL).1 In addition, insulin sensitivity, as measured by glucose disposal, for participants taking the medication along with chromium picolinate was increased when compared to those taking the antidiabetic agent and placebo. Study participants taking chromium picolinate also experienced significantly lower abdominal body fat accumulation than the group taking medication and placebo, and experienced less overall weight gain (0.9kg vs. 2.2kg).1
"It's also important to note that no significant adverse events were reported among the study participants," added Cefalu.
The chromium used in this study was provided by Nutrition 21, the makers of Chromax® chromium picolinate.