Chromium picolinate does not produce weight loss

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, in New Haven, Connecticut conducted a study with this essential trace element and nutritional supplement.

First, the details.

  • 80 otherwise healthy, overweight adults were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 24 weeks.
    • Chromium picolinate 1000 mcg daily
    • Placebo.
  • Everyone received passive nutritional education at 12 weeks.
  • Weight, height, blood pressure, percent body fat, and serum and urinary biomarkers were measured.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • Both groups had similar mean body mass index (BMI) (36 kg/m2) before the study.
  • After 12 weeks there was no significant change in BMI (0 kg/m2).
  • There was no change in BMI after 24 weeks (0 kg/m2).
  • Variation in central fat tissue did not affect any outcome.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Supplementation of 1000 mcg of chromium picolinate alone, and in combination with nutritional education, did not affect weight loss in this population of overweight adults.”

These findings support an earlier study in which researchers from the US Department of Agriculture treated 83 women with chromium picolinate 200 mcg daily and observed no change in weight loss or body composition.

Now, consider this.

Earlier this year, identified hexavalent chromium (chromium VI) in 3 out of 6 chromium products tested. Hexavalent chromium was at the center of the movie Erin Brockovich.

5/17/10 11:45 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.