Chromium supplementation and polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2017 Jul:42:92-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2017.04.008. Epub 2017 Apr 21.


Introduction: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women. Some vitamins and mineral can play role in improvement of PCOS. Chromium (Cr) is an essential element in glucose and insulin homeostasis. However, findings are not consistent regarding PCOS improvement. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to assess the effect of Cr supplementation in PCOS that have not yet fully been elucidated.

Methods: We searched ISI Web of Science, MEDLINE (1966 to June 2016), Google Scholar databases and Proquest and identified eligible papers and extracted the following terms: total testosterone, DHEAS, insulin sensitivity, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, OGTT 1h glucose, OGTT 2h glucose (mg/dL), LH (mIU/mL), FSH, DHEAS, ferriman-Galwey score (FG score). We calculated overall effect size with random effects model, between-study heterogeneity with I square (I2) statistic. Publication bias was assessed using Begg's test regression.

Result: Totally, 7 RCTs were selected. Results indicated that Cr supplementation had a beneficial effect on BMI with effect size: -2.37 (kg/m2), 95% CI: -2.99, -1.76, p=0.001 and free testosterone concentration with effect size=-0.52 (pg/mL), 95% CI: -0.83, -0.23, p=0.001. Cr reduced fasting insulin in subgroup of studies with >10 participants with effect size: -0.86mIU/ml, 95% CI: -0.67, -0.17; p=0.001. Cr supplementation had no beneficial effects on reducing total testosterone, FG score, DHEA, FSH and LH.

Conclusion: This systematic review and meta-analysis shows that using Cr picolinate supplementation has beneficial effects on decreasing BMI, fasting insulin and free testosterone in PCOS patients.

Keywords: Chromium; Meta-analysis; Picolinate; Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chromium / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Insulin
  • Chromium
  • Testosterone