Chromium and Glucose Tolerance

Because of chromium’s known ability to potentiate action of insulin, an adequate chromium status is important especially for people with diabetes, insulin resistance and hypoglycemia to maintain glycemic control (1;2).

According to an evaluation of 15 randomized clinical trials, amounts of about 200 mcg per day appear to improve use of glucose (3). In addition, a placebo-controlled trial of 180 Chinese patients found that doses at 200 mcg and as high as 1,000 mcg of chromium taken per day lowered blood glucose levels by 15-19% (3).

Dose may depend on form of chromium since one form may be more bioavailable than another. Chromium picolinate appears to be the most bioavailable and, thus, the most potent (3).

The amount of chromium taken, however, should not exceed 1,000 mcg per day due to potential toxicity (1). Chromium picolinate, in addition, should not be taken in amounts over 600 mcg because of association with renal failure and hepatic dysfunction (1).

Reference List

1. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2009.
2. Pohl M, Mayr P, Mertl-Roetzer M et al. Glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with a disease-specific enteral formula: stage II of a randomized, controlled multicenter trial. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2009;33:37-49.
3. Linus Pauling Institute. Chromium. Micronutrient Information Center. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/chromium/.

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