Potential Benefits of Chromium Picolinate for Diabetes

Chromium is an essential trace mineral found in our bodies. It’s required for a number of physiological functions, one of which will be the proper digestion of food.

In addition to this, amounts of chromium in our blood have been connected to eye health, with low degrees raising the risk of glaucoma (an eye condition you’re at higher risk of with diabetes).

Chromium can also slow down calcium reduction from our bones. And in regard to the benefits of chromium picolinate for diabetes, this critical mineral might help you manage your condition.

What is known for sure about chromium is that it is vital for human nutrition and is required for to operate normally.

Surprisingly, this role was detected by chance — patients getting liquid nutrition in a hospital had been developing diabetes, but a analyses of type 2 diabetes was averted after chromium was added to the liquid nutrition.

Let us explore chromium in a bit more detail…


Please note that this information isn’t an endorsement for chromium. We’re simply sharing the research surrounding it. You always need to discuss supplementation with your physician.

How does chromium work?

Chromium binds to a special protein within cells called low-molecular weight chromium binding substance (LMWCr). This substance switches it in its active form.

Once activated, it exerts many metabolic effects, one of which will be the LMWCr binds to insulin receptors inside beta-cells in the pancreas and also potentiates their action. Or in simpler terms, it amplifies the action of insulin as it carries out its role of helping glucose in the blood enter cells.

Some research even indicates that this chromium-mediated amplification might increase the action of insulin by 7 times its normal rate!

Chromium may influence metabolism

If you have diabetes, then you have metabolic syndrome — a condition of altered metabolism — symptoms of which include hypertension, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance.

Chromium is required for glucose metabolism, whereby it acts as a second messenger in the cells to help improve the operation of insulin. And as you’ll soon read under, studies have shown it may decrease blood sugar levels and A1C.

In several animal studies it has been proven to play a central role in reducing hypertension and obesity. Though, in terms of those functions, at this stage evidence in people is restricted.

Chromium may Decrease blood glucose levels

The most bioavailable form (i.e. form that is most readily absorbed in your blood) of chromium is ‘chromium picolinate.’ And supplementation of chromium picolinate in diabetic patients has shown some fairly impressive results.

Several rat studies have shown chromium consumption prevents hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). And in terms of clinical trials in humans, there have been a couple of.

In 71 poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, researchers gave them 600μg/day chromium picolinate over a 4 month interval. They had been eating the standard American Diabetes Association diet (fairly high in carbohydrates), and still took their regular medications. The results showed that the supplemented group had reduced fasting glucose of 31.0mg/dL (1.7 mmol/l), reduced post meal glucose by 37.0mg/dL (2 mmol/l), plus they had a 1.9% lower A1c compared to just 1 percent in the non tolerable category.

A Chinese research conducted in 180 diabetic patients administered either placebo, 100 mcg or 500 mcg of chromium picolinate twice per day for the duration of 4 months, discovered that in the conclusion of the research, those being supplemented at 500 mcg had improvement in all of their outcomes!

The very same researchers conducted the following research where chromium picolinate was supplemented in 833 poorly controlled diabetic patients, 500 mcg daily. All diabetics in the study were on medications or taking insulin. The fasting and post meal glucose improved in 90 percent of people.

Prior to taking vitamin average fasting amounts have been 180 mg/dl (10 mmol/l) and after carrying chromium they reduced to 144 mg/dl (8 mmol/l). Post meal glucose reduced from a typical 216 mg/dl (12 mmol/l) to 178 mg/dl (9.9 mmol/l).

Another review of clinical trials confirms the effect of chromium to reduce fasting blood glucose in particular.

Overall, these studies imply chromium might be of fantastic benefit to blood sugar regulation.

Potential Benefits of Chromium Picolinate for Diabetes

Chromium may improve cholesterol levels

Based on research, chromium picolinate may help reduce LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increase levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol). Having elevated blood lipids is pretty common in type 2 diabetes, which puts you at greater risk of atherosclerosis (artery blockage) and may eventually lead to heart attacks and stroke.

A review of clinical trials of chromium supplementation in type 2 diabetics revealed an average total cholesterol reduction of 6.7 mg/dl (0.37 mmol/l).

1 clinical trial discovered that heart disease risk factors significantly improved in vitamin supplementation in type 2 diabetic subjects — lower triglyceride levels and a change in the LDL/ HDL ratio.

Chromium acts as an antioxidant

There are increased levels of oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. Oxidative stress is where harmful free radicals (unstable cells) travel through the blood threatening to attack healthy cells and triggering inflammatory reactions.

Chromium supplementation has been shown to decrease oxidative stress in diabetic patients. This likely occurs because of chromium’s powerful antioxidant activities. Fundamentally, chromium binds to those unstable free radicals preventing them from doing damage to your body’s cells.

Chromium benefits

Current research has discovered the following benefits of chromium in relation to type 2 diabetes:

  • Lowers blood glucose levels
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity
  • Enhances blood lipid profile
  • Reduces effects of oxidative stress
  • Reduces A1C amounts

Chromium unwanted effects

An overdose of chromium supplements may lead to stomach issues and low blood sugar levels (). Excessive chromium may also lead to organ damage and irregular heart rhythms.

Chromium supplements

Chromium picolinate is the natural form of vitamin and so, the strongest form of supplementation, which withstands the strong effects of our stomach acid. Other types of chromium are artificial forms that are not as bioavailable to your entire body.

Based on research, the proposed dose is approximately 500 mcg per day, with common dosages obtained ranging from 50 to 200 μg. However, please note, supplements should always be obtained under the guidance your doctor doctor.

Chromium food sources

Traces of Vitamin can be found in several veggies, fruits and meats, though higher sources include:

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Disclaimer: The information provided on the Diabetes Meal Plans websites is for general informational purposes only and isn’t meant to be treated as medical information and should not under any conditions be used to replace professional medical diagnosis, therapy, or information. Please consult with a medical or health professional before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or supplementation program, or if you’ve got specific questions regarding your health. If you decide to apply any information from any of the Diabetes Meal Plans websites, you do this of your own free will and accord, knowingly and voluntarily, and assume any and all risks by doing this.

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