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Title: Chromium Effects on Insulin and Vascular Function in People at Risk for Diabetes
Status: Completed
Topic: Diabetes / Insulin Resistance
Funding Source: National Institutes of Health/NCAMM
Funding Period: 11/03 –6/08
Study Design: Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Modified Crossover Trial
Purpose: To investigate the effects of daily chromium supplementation for 6 months at 2 dose levels on serum measures of glucose tolerance and endothelial function in adults with a higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes.
Further Study Details:

Researchers have been looking for safe, effective, and low-cost ways to prevent and/or treat diabetes. Use of chromium is widespread, but evidence of therapeutic effect is limited. Chromium is a mineral that plays a role in the body's control of blood glucose, and prior research has suggested that chromium may be helpful in treating Type 2 diabetes. This study examined the effects of chromium on glucose tolerance and endothelial function in people at risk of developing diabetes. The study followed a group of 59 adults (38 women and 21 men) with an average age of 57 years. It investigated the effects of chromium on:

  • blood pressure
  • anthropometric measures
    • weight
    • waist circumference
    • body mass index
  • measures of diabetes risk
    • fasting glucose levels
    • insulin levels
    • insulin resistance
    • oral glucose tolerance test
    • hemoglobin A1c levels
  • brachial artery endothelial function
  • lipid profiles
    • total cholesterol
    • HDL
    • LDL
    • triglycerides
    • total cholesterol/HDL ratio
  • and urinary measures of microalbumin and the albumin/creatinine ratio

Participants were randomly assigned to a daily dose of either 500 or 1000 micrograms (mcg) of chromium for a period of 6 months. During another 6-month period, each person also received a placebo (inactive substance) for comparison.

Findings: Neither dose (500 mcg or 1000 mcg) of chromium led to any significant changes in any of those measures listed above. During the course of the study, 5 participants developed Type 2 diabetes. Based on results from our study it does not appear that chromium can help prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Other recently-published studies also support our findings.
Eligibility: Adult men and women with impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose, or insulin resistance.

Changed at: 1/18/2011 7:24 AM Changed by: Judy Treu
Created at: 8/31/2010 11:04 AM Created by: Griffin Hospital