Chromium supplementation may affect various risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), including body weight and composition, basal plasma hormone and substrate levels, and response to an oral glucose load. This study examined the effects of chromium supplementation (400 micrograms.d-1), with or without exercise training, on these risk factors in young, obese women. Chromium picolinate supplementation resulted in significant weight gain in this population, while exercise training combined with chromium nicotinate supplementation resulted in significant weight loss and lowered the insulin response to an oral glucose load. We conclude that high levels of chromium picolinate supplementation are contraindicated for weight loss in young, obese women. Moreover, our results suggest that exercise training combined with chromium nicotinate supplementation may be more beneficial than exercise training alone for modification of certain CAD and NIDDM risk factors.