Chromium, Diabetes, and Heart Disease : Terry Talks Nutrition

Study Spotlight

Study Spotlight

Chromium, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

Diabetes and heart disease are, sadly, often linked conditions. Because high blood sugar levels damage the nerves that control the hear, and the blood vessels and arteries in the cardiovascular system, people with type 2 diabetes are two to four times more at risk of death from heart disease.

Fortunately, chromium may provide some assistance. Studies of chromium supplementation have shown that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels, body-mass index (BMI), diastolic blood pressure, and inflammatory markers.

While the average chromium intake from food hovers around 25 mcg, which might not be enough to stop deficiencies. Additionally, chromium in foods is mostly found in whole food sources like broccoli, whole grains, and egg yolks. Any food laden with simple sugars may actually deplete chromium, leading to a spiral of diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease risk.

This clinical study found that positive effects were seen after 12 weeks at a dosage of 200 mcg per day, an easy level within reach for most people through supplementation.


Farrokhian A, Mahmoodian M, Bahmani F, Amirani E, Shafabakhsh R, Asemi Z. The Influences of Chromium Supplementation on Metabolic Status in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Coronary Heart Disease. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2019 Jun 26.

This investigation was conducted to determine the effects of chromium supplementation on metabolic status in diabetic patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in 64 diabetic patients with CHD between October 2017 and January 2018. Patients were randomly divided into two groups to obtain either 200 μg chromium (n = 32) or placebo (n = 32) for 12 weeks. Chromium supplementation significantly reduced body weight (- 0.9 ± 1.6 vs. + 0.1 ± 0.8 kg, P = 0.001), BMI (- 0.4 ± 0.7 vs. + 0.1 ± 0.3 kg/m2, P = 0.002), fasting glucose (β - 11.03 mg/dL; 95% CI, - 18.97, - 3.09; P = 0.007), insulin (β - 1.33 μIU/mL; 95% CI, - 1.90, - 0.76; P < 0.001), and insulin resistance (β - 0.44; 95% CI, - 0.62, - 0.25; P < 0.001) and significantly increased insulin sensitivity (β 0.007; 95% CI, 0.003, 0.01; P < 0.001) compared with the placebo. In addition, taking chromium led to a significant reduction in serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (β - 0.49 mg/L; 95% CI, - 0.91, - 0.06; P = 0.02) and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (β - 0.22 μmol/L; 95% CI, - 0.35, - 0.10; P = 0.001); also, a significant rise in total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (β 84.54 mmol/L; 95% CI, 31.05, 138.02; P = 0.002) was observed in comparison with placebo. Additionally, chromium administration significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (β - 5.01 mmHg; 95% CI, - 9.04, - 0.97; P = 0.01) compared with the placebo. Overall, the 12-week supplementation of chromium to diabetic patients with CHD had beneficial impacts on weight, BMI, glycemic control, hs-CRP, TAC, MDA, and DBP.Trial Registration : : IRCT20170513033941N30.

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