Supplement May Lower Diabetes Heart Risks
May 10, 2004 -- A dietary supplement containing chromium
picolinate and biotin may help people with type 2 diabetes lower their
cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors.
A new study shows 30 days of treatment with the supplement,
sold commercially as Diachrome, significantly improved several heart disease
risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes. Heart disease is the leading cause
of death among people with diabetes.
Researchers say the findings suggest that adding the supplement
to conventional diabetes treatment may provide additional protection against
heart attack and other heart-related complications.
Previous studies show that having low levels of chromium can
increase the risk of heart disease. Diachrome contains chromium, in the form of
chromium picolinate, and biotin, which is thought to improve insulin's action
to improve blood sugars.
Diachrome May Lower Heart Risks
The study, presented at the American Heart Association's Annual
Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology in San
Francisco, compared the effects of treatment with Diachrome and with placebo in
a group of 24 people with type 2 diabetes.
The participants all had poorly controlled glucose levels, as
measured by fasting blood glucose, despite taking oral medications to control
blood sugars for at least six months.
The group was divided into two groups that either received
Diachrome or a placebo daily while continuing their regular diabetes
After 30 days, researchers found several improvements among
those that added the supplement to their treatment:
- Total cholesterol levels dropped by an average of 19.1 mg/dL.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) "bad" cholesterol
decreased by an average of 10.9 mg/dL.
Average fasting blood glucose dropped by 26.2 mg/dL.
Significant decreases in fasting blood glucose were seen in 71%
of those that received the supplement vs. only 27% on the placebo.
Significant decreases in LDL cholesterol were found in 77% of
supplement users compared with 45% of the placebo group.
Researchers say the results suggest that Diachrome not only
improves blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, but it also
improves their cholesterol profile, which is often difficult to achieve. They
say further research should look at the potential for the supplement to help
prevent heart disease.