Submitted to: Journal of the American Medical Association
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2008
Publication Date: 3/1/2009
Citation: Iqbal, N., Cardillo, S., Volger, S., Bloedon, L.T., Anderson, R.A., Boston, R., Szapary, P. 2009. Chromium picolinate does not improve key features of metabolic syndrome in obese nondiabetic adults. Journal of the American Medical Association. 7:143-150 Interpretive Summary: The use of chromium-containing dietary supplements is widespread among people with glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes as a means of improving glucose metabolism. However, chromium’s role as a potential therapy for the prevention or delay in onset of diabetes for patients with metabolic syndrome, often an early sign of diabetes, is not known. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of chromium picolinate on glucose metabolism in patients with metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome were divided into two groups and half given 500 micrograms of Cr as Cr picolinate two times per day and the other half a placebo for 16 weeks. There was a significant improvement in insulin release by the pancreas in response to glucose in the group receiving 1000 micrograms of chromium, without improving insulin sensitivity. Cr no significant effect on other measures of glucose metabolism, body weight, serum cholesterol or triglycerides, or measures of inflammation and oxidative stress. There were no adverse effects of taking the chromium supplement noted. In addition to scientists and medical personnel, this study is of particular interest to people at risk for or with metabolic syndrome.
Technical Abstract: The use of chromium-containing dietary supplements is widespread among patients with type 2 diabetes as a means of improving glucose metabolism. However, chromium’s role as a potential therapy for patients at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, specifically those with metabolic syndrome, is not known. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of chromium picolinate (CrPic) on glucose metabolism in 63 patients with metabolic syndrome using a double-blind study design. After 16 weeks of CrPic treatment, there was no significant change in insulin sensitivity index (SI) [(2.20 +/- 2.7 to 2.39 +/- 2.3 (mU/L)-1min-1 for CrPic, and (1.68 +/- 1.1 to 1.83 +/- 1.1 (mU/L)-1min-1 for placebo), p=0.14]. However, CrPic significantly increased acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg) (656 +/- 557 to 758 +/- 721 mU L-1min-1 for CrPic and 806 +/- 505 to 730 +/- 574 mU L-1min-1 for placebo) with an association between pretreatment insulin secretion and response to treatment (p=0.02). For CrPic-treated patients, the degree of post-treatment AIRG was strongly correlated with baseline AIRG (p<0.001). There were no effects of CrPic on glucose effectiveness (SG) or disposition index (DI). There were no changes in weight, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, hs-CRP, or urinary isoprostane 8,12-iso-iPF2'-VI in response to treatment. The treatment was well tolerated without differences in adverse events. In summary, Cr picolinate, at 1000 mcg of Cr/day, increases first phase insulin secretion without improving insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic patients with metabolic syndrome.