Only One Chromium Supplement Helps People with Diabetes

Friday, December 05, 2008 by: Dr. Phil Domenico
Tags: chromium, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Chromium is an essential mineral in humans that helps the hormone insulin function properly. When insulin is functioning well, blood sugar is balanced. The job of insulin is to remove sugar from the bloodstream and to transport it to the tissues for energy. When insulin is malfunctioning, as in diabetes or obesity, high blood sugar can cause damage to the arteries to set the stage for cardiovascular disease. Also, insufficient sugar transport starves the tissues, which promotes hunger. That's why obese people eat constantly and still feel hungry. Chromium is not the only nutrient that supports blood sugar and insulin health, but it can make a substantial difference.

It turns out that the form of chromium makes a big difference as well. A recent study reported that Niacin-bound chromium (Cr-N) provides significantly more heart health benefits than chromium picolinate (Cr-P) in diabetic rats. After feeding rats a diet supplemented with Cr-N, Cr-P, or nothing at all for eight weeks, scientists measured cholesterol, triglycerides, and markers of inflammation linked to cardiovascular disease. They found that both Cr-P and Cr-N significantly reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats compared to controls, but Cr-N caused greater overall reductions. Additionally, Cr-N lowered levels of inflammatory markers, while Cr-P did not. The chromium dose in the supplements was 400 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.

Unfortunately, this study is misleading in a variety of ways. The scientists involved have been going out of their way for years to try to make Cr-N competitive with Cr-P. They continue to perform dubious studies in animals and in test tubes to show that Cr-N is better than Cr-P. They used a massive dose of chromium in the above study, perhaps to ensure that Cr-N would work. Normal, effective Cr-P doses are close to 50 times smaller. In fact, it may be the high levels of niacin (vitamin B3) in this rat study that reduced inflammatory markers, not the chromium. Furthermore, the quality of Cr-P used by these researchers in this and other studies is suspect. One wonders if these researchers have a vested interest in the commercial success of this Cr-N supplement.

Massive Cr-N doses may be compelling in the lab, but they do not hold water when given to people. In contrast, Cr-P is the supplement of choice in humans. It is the only chromium awarded a qualified health claim from the FDA. It is the chief chromium supplement in numerous studies currently being funded by the National Institutes of Health. And, it is the only one that works unequivocally in humans, particularly for people with sugar problems.

Indeed, all 15 trials using Cr-P for people with diabetes have demonstrated beneficial effects. Fourteen of those 15 clinical studies (including 11 randomized, controlled studies) involving a total of 1,696 subjects reported significant improvement in blood sugar control. All 15 studies showed salutary effects in at least one aspect of diabetes management, including improvements in blood fats. Positive outcomes from Cr-P supplementation included reduced blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduced requirements for diabetes medication. Substantial reductions in these parameters equates to a reduced risk for disease complications (Broadhurst & Domenico, 2006).

Chromium picolinate supplementation also provides benefits for healthy people. A recent study showed significant reduction in hunger levels by 24%, food intake by 25%, and reduced cravings for high-fat foods in adult, non-diabetic, overweight women (Anton et al., 2008). In another study, a single dose of Cr-P helped control blood sugar spikes in 2 out of every 3 healthy individuals given large amounts of sugar (Frauchiger et al., 2004). People, who use the glycemic index to lose weight, eat foods high in fiber and low in sugar and starch to help reduce blood sugar spikes. It appears that Cr-P is a useful addition to help improve glycemic control and weight management. Cr-P has also been shown to fight depression and to curb carb cravings, likely by keeping blood sugar at optimal levels (Docherty et al., 2005).

The greater bioavailability (gut absorption) of Cr-P compared to other forms of chromium may explain its superiority in blood sugar control. Picolinate is a natural chelating agent found in breast milk that helps transport minerals from mother to infant. Picolinate holds on to chromium tightly enough to get it through the digestive system intact so as to enable its absorption by the body. Niacin, on the other hand, does not chelate chromium well, and does not support absorption.

Several studies have shown that Cr-P is significantly better absorbed than other chromium forms in animal and human studies (Anderson et al., 2004; DiSilvestro and Dy, 2005). The available data indicate that Cr-N is poorly absorbed. Inorganic forms of chromium, like chromium chloride, have never demonstrated consistent efficacy due to limited intestinal absorption. However, most multivitamins, especially the cheap drugstore type, contain chromium chloride (Again, you get what you pay for). Another chromium complex, chromium histidinate, shows enhanced chromium bioavailability, and is currently being researched and developed (Anderson et al., 2004).

Chromium supplementation is most important for people with diabetes. Many subjects with type 2 diabetes have faulty chromium metabolism, due to inadequate intake, decreased absorption and increased loss. Current data show a strong correlation between diabetes and low levels of chromium in serum, hair, and toenail tissues. For these reasons, chromium supplementation on the order of 1000 mcg per day has been recommended to provide significant clinical benefit in diabetes. The dose for non-diabetic individuals is in the range of 200-500 mcg per day.

Chromium picolinate has also been shown to be safe in humans at the prescribed doses. A recent study showed that Cr-P does not induce toxicity (i.e., chromosomal damage) at doses up to 2000 mg per kilogram of body weight (Komorowski et al., 2008), which is close to 50,000 times the dose recommended for diabetes subjects. The FDA has also recently affirmed Cr-P safety.

No other chromium supplement shows the consistent benefits that Cr-P does, especially at higher doses for subjects with diabetes. Considering its compelling safety profile, Cr-P is an inexpensive and uniquely efficacious supplement to help control the high cost of diabetes treatment. It makes no sense to toy with chromium supplements that have limited research support when the stakes are so high.

Anderson RA, Polansky MM, and Bryden NA. Stability and absorption of chromium and absorption of chromium histidinate complexes by humans. Biol Trace Elem Res 2004;101:211-8.

Anton SD, Morrison CD, Cefalu WT, et al. Effects of Chromium Picolinate on Food Intake and Satiety. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics 2008;10:405-12.

Broadhurst CL, Domenico P. Clinical studies on chromium picolinate supplementation in diabetes mellitus- A Review. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics 2006;8:677-87.

DiSilvestro RA and Dy E. Comparison of acute absorption of various types of chromium supplement complexes. FASEB 2005;19:A92-3.

Docherty JP, Sack DA, Roffman M, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, exploratory trial of chromium picolinate in atypical depression: Effect on carbohydrate craving. J Psychiat Pract 2005;11:302-14.

Frauchiger MT, Wenk C, Colombani PC. Effects of acute chromium supplementation on postprandial metabolism in healthy young men. J Am Coll Nutr 2004;23:351-7.

Komorowski JR, Greenberg D, Juturu V. Chromium picolinate does not produce chromosome damage. Toxicology in Vitro 2008;22:819-26.

About the author

Dr. Phil Domenico is a nutritional scientist and educator with a research background in biochemistry and microbiology. Formerly an infectious disease scientist, he now works as a consultant for supplement companies and the food industry.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.