Chromium for Glucose Metabolism

Chromium is an essential mineral that is required for carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Glucose intolerance and insulin resistance are on the rise. For improving glucose tolerance and reducing insulin resistance, I typically combine Chromium with the herbs Cinnamon, Garcinia, and Gymnema. I first read about Gymnea in my first year of study in 1996 and did a major herbal assignment on it the same year. I have people add Cinnamon to smoothies. Regarding nutrients, I combine Chromium with the trio of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6, which all help with the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose. Depending on the individual situation, I might prescribe 200 micrograms of Chromium 2-3 times daily with food.

Consumption of refined foods, including simple sugars, exacerbates the problem of insufficient dietary Chromium since these foods are not only low in dietary Chromium but also enhance additional Chromium losses. Chromium losses are also increased due to pregnancy, strenuous exercise, infection, physical trauma and other forms of stress.

Supplementation of Chromium often leads to significant improvements in glucose tolerance, serum lipids including high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, and insulin binding. Chromium also tends to normalise blood glucose. Chromium supplementation of subjects with elevated blood sugar following a glucose load leads to a decrease in blood sugar while hypoglycaemics respond to supplemental Chromium by an increase in hypoglycaemic glucose values, increased insulin binding and alleviation of hypoglycaemic symptoms.


Anderson RA. Chromium metabolism and its role in disease processes in man. Clin Physiol Biochem. 1986; 4(1): 31-41.

Anderson RA. Chromium, glucose tolerance, and diabetes. Biol Trace Elem Res. Jan-Mar 1992; 32: 19-24.

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