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J Vet Intern Med. 2001 Jul-Aug;15(4):379-84.

Oral chromium picolinate and control of glycemia in insulin-treated diabetic dogs.

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Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Chromium is an essential dietary trace mineral involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Chromium is required for cellular uptake of glucose, and chromium deficiency causes insulin resistance. Chromium supplementation may improve insulin sensitivity and has been used as adjunct treatment of diabetes mellitus in humans. In this study, 13 dogs with naturally acquired diabetes mellitus were treated with insulin for 3 months, then with insulin and chromium picolinate for 3 months. Dogs weighing <15 kg (33 lb: n = 9) were administered 200 microg of chromium picolinate PO once daily for I month, then 200 microg of chromium picolinate twice daily for 2 months. Dogs weighing >15 kg (n = 4) received 200 microg of chromium picolinate once daily for 2 weeks, then 200 microg twice daily for 2 weeks, then 400 microg twice daily for 2 months. Type of insulin, frequency of insulin administration, and diet were kept constant, and insulin dosage was adjusted, as needed, to maintain optimal control of glycemia. Mean body weight, daily insulin dosage, daily caloric intake, 10-hour mean blood glucose concentration, blood glycated hemoglobin concentration, and serum fructosamine concentration were not markedly different when dogs were treated with insulin and chromium picolinate, compared with insulin alone. Adverse effects were not identified with chromium picolinate administration. Results of this study suggest that, at a dosage range of 20-60 microg/kg/d, chromium picolinate caused no beneficial or harmful effects in insulin-treated diabetic dogs.

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