Research: Does chromium picolinate improve weight loss?

Research - Boggle LettersResearch - Boggle Letters

The evidence does not support chromium supplements for weight loss.  

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome

Chromium picolinate has long been touted as a miracle supplement for weight loss and blood sugar stabilization.  It has been suggested as a supplement for diabetic type 2 patients because this metabolic syndrome should improve with blood sugar stabilization and weight loss.  Could chromium help with weight loss, blood sugar levels, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?  

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is believed to be a related metabolic syndrome.  PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age.  Recently, chromium has been hypothesized as another method to better control the weights and symptoms of PCOS.  The problem is that even though the mechanism of action is believable, there is limited quality evidence to support the use of chromium in those suffering from obesity, diabetes, or PCOS.  

The good news is that a group of researchers tackled this question with a systemic review of prior research to try to gain support through an analysis of the combined research that has already been done[1].  The research centered on studies were conducted which centered on the effects of chromium on ovarian physiology with a focus on body mass index and the hormonal and metabolic dysfunctions in women suffering from PCOS.

Clinical trials investigating chromium in women with PCOS with outcome measures related to metabolic and hormonal status were included.  A total of 6 articles were selected for analysis.  Two studies that evaluated the effect of chromium on body weight or body mass index reported no effect.  Another study reported a slightly beneficial effect of chromium on weight reduction.  The effect of chromium in the reduction of blood glucose is insignificant.  They also found it limited to no change in female hormone levels.  

The bottom line:  The analysis demonstrated that chromium supplementation has limited to no effect on weight reduction, glucose control, and hormonal disturbance of women with PCOS.  For this reason, I highly doubt that men would be any different.  I can not suggest chromium supplementation for weight loss.  More studies are needed to confirm these results.  


V. Maleki, A. Izadi, A. Farsad-Naeimi, and M. Alizadeh, “Chromium supplementation does not improve weight loss or metabolic and hormonal variables in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review,” Nutrition Research, vol. 56, pp. 1–10, Aug. 2018 [Online]. Available: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.04.003″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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