Chromium picolinate supplementation in women: effects on body weight, composition, and iron status

Nutrition. 2007 Mar;23(3):187-95. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2006.12.001. Epub 2007 Feb 8.


Objective: This study tested the hypothesis that supplementation of chromium picolinate (CrPic), 200 microg Cr/d, compared with an equivalent amount of picolinic acid (1720 microg) in CrPic and placebo, decreases body weight, alters body composition, and reduces iron status of women fed diets of constant energy and nutrients.

Methods: We fed 83 women nutritionally balanced diets, used anthropometry and dual x-ray absorptiometry to assess body composition, and measured serum and urinary Cr and biochemical indicators of iron status before and serially every 4 wk for 12 wk in a double-blind, randomized trial.

Results: CrPic supplementation increased (P < 0.0001) serum Cr concentration and urinary Cr excretion compared with picolinic acid and placebo. CrPic did not affect body weight or fat, although all groups lost (P < 0.05) weight and fat; it did not affect fat-free, mineral-free mass or measurements of iron status.

Conclusion: Under conditions of controlled energy intake, CrPic supplementation of women did not independently influence body weight or composition or iron status. Thus, claims that supplementation of 200 microg of Cr as CrPic promotes weight loss and body composition changes are not supported.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Chromium / blood
  • Chromium / pharmacology
  • Chromium / urine
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron Chelating Agents / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Picolinic Acids / blood
  • Picolinic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Picolinic Acids / urine
  • Trace Elements / blood
  • Trace Elements / pharmacology
  • Trace Elements / urine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss


  • Biomarkers
  • Iron Chelating Agents
  • Picolinic Acids
  • Trace Elements
  • Chromium
  • Iron
  • picolinic acid