Chromium, Weight Gain and Diabetes

Chromium is a trace element that has been shown to improve the action of insulin in the body. Insulin promotes the utilization and storage of sugar (glucose). In people with Type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to the effects of insulin. This insulin resistance eventually leads to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Recently, a study evaluated the effects of chromium in people with diabetes. In this study, 25 individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes for at least 6 months received either glipizide extended-release tablets combined with either a placebo tablet or chromium piccolinate 1000 mcg daily. Glipizide is used commonly to treat diabetes. Weight gain is a known side effect of therapy with glipizide and other drugs in its class. The study participants who received supplementation with chromium gained significantly less weight during the 41 week study period. Individuals with diabetes should discuss chromium with their health care provider, and check their blood sugar more frequently if chromium is added to their regimen.