The Possibilities of Using Chromium Salts as an Agent Supporting Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2019 Dec;192(2):91-97. doi: 10.1007/s12011-019-1654-5. Epub 2019 Feb 4.


The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most frequent endocrinopathy in women in reproductive age with the so far undetermined causes of development. In the etiopathogenesis of PCOS, the role of insulin resistance is emphasised, which was an indication for the attempts at using chromium III salts (Cr) in augmenting pharmacotherapy applied in patients. The analysis of the usefulness and efficacy of this approach was the direct goal of this thesis. Animal tests confirmed the efficacy of chromium in maintaining the appropriate level of glycaemia and insulinaemia, normalisation of plasma concentrations of microelements and also a correlation between the Cr level, insulin and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) was found. A decrease in the expression of 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase was identified in adipose tissue. Clinical studies, although sparse, show that the supplementation with chromium can improve BMI and the parameters evaluating the control of glycaemia and increase the chances for ovulation and regular menstruation. However, the small number and a variability in study protocols makes comparing them very difficult. A completely new subject that has not been yet studied is the possibility of using chromium in levelling mood disorders in patients with PCOS. Currently, there are still no sufficient proofs for introducing chromium as a standard in treating and preventing insulin resistance in patients with PCOS. However, this direction remains open, and treating insulin resistance is an important challenge in clinical practice.

Keywords: Chromium picolinate; Dietary nutrient; Insulin sensitivity; Mood disorders; Obesity; Physiological benefits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromium / administration & dosage
  • Chromium / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Salts / administration & dosage
  • Salts / therapeutic use


  • Salts
  • Chromium