Chromium supplementation does not improve weight loss or metabolic and hormonal variables in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review

Nutr Res. 2018 Aug:56:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.04.003. Epub 2018 Apr 13.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age, and recently, chromium was discussed as an adjuvant way to manage it. Herein, a systematic review was conducted which centered on the effects of chromium on ovarian physiology with a focus on body mass index, as well as hormonal and metabolic dysfunctions in women suffering from PCOS. This review was performed using the guidelines from Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews. Clinical trials investigating chromium in women with PCOS with outcome measures related to metabolic and hormonal status were included. The search was conducted using PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases for clinical trials in the English language from the inception of the resources until May 2017 with the terms: chromium, chromium picolinate, CrP, polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, and sclerocystic ovary syndrome. The search resulted in 89 articles, and after inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, 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 the beneficial effect of chromium on weight reduction. It seems that the effect of chromium in the reduction of blood glucose is insignificant, and results are inconsistent in relation to dyslipidemia. With regard to the effects of chromium on concentrations of sex hormones, a longer duration of treatment is needed to produce significant changes. The articles reviewed demonstrated that chromium supplementation has limited effects on weight reduction, glucose control, lipid profile, and hormonal disturbance of women with PCOS; however, more studies are needed due to the clinical changes observed in patients with PCOS after chromium supplementation.

Keywords: Body mass index; Chromium; Hormones; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Systematic review; Women.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chromium / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Trace Elements / pharmacology
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Lipids
  • Trace Elements
  • Chromium