Chromium Treatment Has No Effect in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in a Western Population

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

  1. Nanne Kleefstra, MD12,
  2. Sebastiaan T. Houweling, MD, PHD2,
  3. Stephan J.L. Bakker, MD, PHD3,
  4. Simon Verhoeven, MD, PHD2,
  5. Rijk O.B. Gans, MD, PHD3,
  6. Betty Meyboom-de Jong, MD, PHD4 and
  7. Henk J.G. Bilo, MD, PHD, FRCP13
  1. 1Diabetes Centre, Isala Clinics, Zwolle, the Netherlands
  2. 2Langerhans Medical Research Group, Zwolle, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  4. 4Department of General Practice, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Nanne Kleefstra, MD, Diabetes Centre, Isala Clinics, P.O. Box 10400, 8000 GK Zwolle, Netherlands. E-mail: kleefstra{at}


OBJECTIVE—Chromium treatment has been reported to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, concern exists about the possible toxic effects of chromium picolinate. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of chromium treatment in the form of chromium yeast on glycemic control in a Western population of patients with type 2 diabetes who were being treated with oral hypoglycemic agents.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—In this 6-month, double-blind study, patients with moderate glycemic control, being treated with oral hypoglycemic agents, were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or treatment with 400 μg of chromium daily in the form of chromium yeast. The primary efficacy parameter was a change in A1C. Secondary end points were changes in lipid profile, BMI, blood pressure, body fat, and insulin resistance.

RESULTS—No differences were found for the change in A1C between the intervention and placebo groups, nor were any differences found between the groups for the secondary end points.

CONCLUSIONS—There is no evidence that chromium in the form of chromium yeast is effective in improving glycemic control in Western patients with type 2 diabetes who are taking oral hypoglycemic agents.


  • Published ahead of print at on 15 February 2007. DOI: 10.2337/dc06-2192. Clinical trial reg. no. NCT00145093,

    A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

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    • Accepted January 31, 2007.
    • Received October 25, 2006.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 30 no. 5 1092-1096
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