Researchers from Yale University have found that supplementation with chromium picolinate plus biotin can improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients who are not responding to oral antihyperglycemic agents.
Preclinical studies have shown that the combination of chromium picolinate and biotin significantly enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells and enhances glucose disposal. Researchers decided to determine how these two nutrients affect blood sugar control in humans.
Forty-three obese or overweight subjects with impaired glycemic control despite treatments with oral antihyperglycemic agents were randomized to receive 600 micrograms of chromium picolinate and 2 mg of biotin per day. Researchers measured glycemic control and blood lipids at baseline and after 4 weeks.
There was a significant reduction in glucose during the 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test in subjects taking the chromium and biotin compared with the placebo group. Glucose tolerance improved by 15 percent in subjects taking the two nutrients. The subjects taking the chromium and biotin also experienced significantly greater reductions in triglycerides and triglycerides to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio. Triglyceride levels decreased by 9.25 milligrams per deciliter in the chromium picolinate/biotin group, and increased by 59.75 mg per dL in the placebo group.
Fructosamine levels, a marker of diabetic control, were also found to improve in the subjects consuming chromium and biotin, with a measured reduction of 1.3 millimoles per liter of serum. Levels increased in the placebo group by 0.7 millimoles per liter of serum.
No significant adverse events were attributed to chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation.
The researchers concluded, “Chromium picolinate/biotin supplementation may represent an effective adjunctive nutritional therapy to people with poorly controlled diabetes with the potential for improving lipid metabolism.”
Singer GM, Geohas The effect of chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation on glycemic control in poorly controlled patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized trial. J Diabetes Technol Ther. 2006 Dec;8(6):636-43.