The mechanism of action of chromium and magnesium as key nutrients in the treatment of hyperglycemia




Chrome; Hyperglycemia; Magnesium; Nutritional supplements.


The eating habits of the human being are modified over the years, according to the technological evolution. With the exchange of fresh foods for processed foods, whose nutritional value is minimal, the desired levels for consumption of micronutrients are not sufficient, which leads the individual to present nutritional deficiencies. The lack of micronutrients leads to a functional imbalance in the body, which can make it susceptible to chronic non-communicable diseases, in addition to metabolic changes and hyperglycemia. Thus, this work aimed to present the fundamental nutrients chromium and magnesium and their action in the treatment of hyperglycemia. The main micronutrients involved in glucose and insulin metabolism are fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), vitamin C, chromium, folate, magnesium, vanadium and zinc. Chromium can be found in the human body in small amounts, but it has a fundamental role in glucose homeostasis, as it acts to increase insulin sensitivity. Magnesium in turn when in inadequate concentrations can result in an imbalance in insulin receptors, which can trigger insulin resistance. Both micronutrients play a fundamental role in our body at metabolic levels, as their absence or excess interferes with glucose homeostasis.


Abdourahman, A., & Edwards, J. G. (2008). Chromium supplementation improves glucose tolerance in diabetic Goto‐Kakizaki rats. IUBMB life, 60(8), 541-548.

ASN – American Society for Nutrition. Chromium. 2p. 2018.

ASN – American Society for Nutrition. Magnesium, p,1-3, 2016.

Agrawal, P., Arora, S., Singh, B., Manamalli, A., & Dolia, P. B. (2011). Association of macrovascular complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus with serum magnesium levels. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 5(1), 41-44.

Behrouz, V., Dastkhosh, A., & Sohrab, G. (2020). Overview of dietary supplements on patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 14(4), 325-334.

Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2005). Biodisponibilidade de nutrientes. Editora Manole.

de los Ángeles Granados-Silvestre, M., Ortiz-López, M. G., Montúfar-Robles, I., & Menjívar-Iraheta, M. (2014). Micronutrientes y diabetes, el caso de los minerales. Cirugía y Cirujanos, 82(1), 119-125.

Farrokhian, A., Mahmoodian, M., Bahmani, F., Amirani, E., Shafabakhsh, R., & Asemi, Z. (2020). The influences of chromium supplementation on metabolic status in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. Biological Trace Element Research, 194(2), 313-320..

Ferreira, W. M., Saad, F. M. O. B., & Pereira, R. A. N. (2006, August). Fundamentos da nutrição de coelhos. In Congresso de Cunicultura das Américas (Vol. 3).Grober, U; Schmidt, J; Kisters, K. Magnesium in prevention and therapy. Journal Nutrients. Germany, p.8199-8226, 2015.

Guerrero-Romero, F., Simental-Mendía, L. E., Hernández-Ronquillo, G., & Rodriguez-Morán, M. (2015). Oral magnesium supplementation improves glycaemic status in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesaemia: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes & metabolism, 41(3), 202-207.

Guimarães, M. M. Efeito do nicotinato de cromo na sensibilidade à insulina e antropometria em indivíduos com diabetes mellitus tipo 2. 2012, 130 p. Tese (Guimarães, M. M. (2012). Efeito do nicotinato de cromo na sensibilidade à insulina e antropometria em indivíduos com diabetes mellitus tipo 2.

Hata, A., Doi, Y., Ninomiya, T., Mukai, N., Hirakawa, Y., Hata, J., ... & Kiyohara, Y. (2013). Magnesium intake decreases Type 2 diabetes risk through the improvement of insulin resistance and inflammation: the Hisayama Study. Diabetic Medicine, 30(12), 1487-1494.

Hruby, A., Guasch-Ferré, M., Bhupathiraju, S. N., Manson, J. E., Willett, W. C., McKeown, N. M., & Hu, F. B. (2017). Magnesium intake, quality of carbohydrates, and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three US cohorts. Diabetes Care, 40(12), 1695-1702.

Hua, Y., Clark, S., Ren, J., & Sreejayan, N. (2012). Molecular mechanisms of chromium in alleviating insulin resistance. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 23(4), 313-319.

Huang, S., Peng, W., Jiang, X., Shao, K., Xia, L., Tang, Y., & Qiu, J. (2014). The effect of chromium picolinate supplementation on the pancreas and macroangiopathy in type II diabetes mellitus rats. Journal of Diabetes Research, 2014.

Liu, C., Feng, X., Li, Q., Wang, Y., Li, Q., & Hua, M. (2016). Adiponectin, TNF-α and inflammatory cytokines and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. cytokine, 86, 100-109.

Mooren, F. C. (2015). Magnesium and disturbances in carbohydrate metabolism. Diabetes, Obesity and metabolism, 17(9), 813-823.

Morais, J. B. S., Severo, J. S., de Alencar, G. R. R., de Oliveira, A. R. S., Cruz, K. J. C., do Nascimento Marreiro, D., ... & Frota, K. D. M. G. (2017). Effect of magnesium supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: a systematic review. Nutrition, 38, 54-60.

Ngala, R. A., Awe, M. A., & Nsiah, P. (2018). The effects of plasma chromium on lipid profile, glucose metabolism and cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus. A case-control study. PLoS One, 13(7), e0197977.

Paiva, A. N., de Lima, J. G., de Medeiros, A. C., Figueiredo, H. A., de Andrade, R. L., Ururahy, M. A., ... & Almeida, M. D. G. (2015). Beneficial effects of oral chromium picolinate supplementation on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical study. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 32, 66-72.

Pereira, A. G., & Muniz, L. B. (2012). Avaliação da suplementação de cromo em pacientes diabéticos tipo II em um centro de saúde de Brasília- Distrito Federal. Revista de Divulgação Científica Sena Aires, 1(1), 25-31.

Qi, S. S., Zheng, H. X., Jiang, H., Yuan, L. P., & Dong, L. C. (2020). Protective effects of chromium picolinate against diabetic-induced renal dysfunction and renal fibrosis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Biomolecules, 10(3), 398.

Ramirez, A. V. G. (2016). A importância do magnésio na doença cardiovascular. International Journal of Nutrology, 9(04), 242-253.

Sales, C. H., Pedrosa, L. F. C., Lima, J. G., Lemos, T. M. A. M., & Colli, C. (2011). Influence of magnesium status and magnesium intake on the blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinical Nutrition, 30(3), 359-364.

SBD – Diretrizes da Sociedade Brasileira de Diabetes 2019-2020. Brasil, 491 p. 2019.

Severo, J. S., Morais, J. B. S., Freitas, T. E. C. D., Cruz, K. J. C., Oliveira, A. R. S. D., Poltronieri, F., & Marreiro, D. D. N. (2015). Aspectos metabólicos e nutricionais do magnésio. Nutr. clín. diet. hosp, 67-74.

Titchenell, P. M., Lazar, M. A., & Birnbaum, M. J. (2017). Unraveling the regulation of hepatic metabolism by insulin. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 28(7), 497-505.

Wang, J., Persuitte, G., Olendzki, B. C., Wedick, N. M., Zhang, Z., Merriam, P. A., ... & Ma, Y. (2013). Dietary magnesium intake improves insulin resistance among non-diabetic individuals with metabolic syndrome participating in a dietary trial. Nutrients, 5(10), 3910-3919.

Yin, R. V., & Phung, O. J. (2015). Effect of chromium supplementation on glycated hemoglobin and fasting plasma glucose in patients with diabetes mellitus. Nutrition journal, 14(1), 1-9.

Zhang, Y., Li, Q., Xin, Y., Lv, W., & Ge, C. (2018). Association between serum magnesium and common complications of diabetes mellitus. Technology and Health Care, 26(S1), 379-387.

Zhao, B., Zeng, L., Zhao, J., Wu, Q., Dong, Y., Zou, F., ... & Zhang, W. (2020). Association of magnesium intake with type 2 diabetes and total stroke: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ open, 10(3), e032240.



How to Cite

COSTA, K. D. I. da .; CABRAL, E. S.; CARVALHO, B. S. The mechanism of action of chromium and magnesium as key nutrients in the treatment of hyperglycemia. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 5, p. e27111528256, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i5.28256. Disponível em: Acesso em: 9 feb. 2023.



Health Sciences