Effect of Chromium Supplementation on Body Weight and Body Fat: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trials

Document Type : Review Article


Nutrition Research Center, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Obesity is a public health and various methods are used to manage this health issue. The aim of this review was to investigate the possible effects of Chromium supplementation on body composition and body weight.
Methods: Databases such as PubMed, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for human studies in English using keywords of body weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, adipose tissue, total body fat, obesity, overweight, ideal body weight, weight loss, weight reduction, and chromium supplementation.
Results: Totally, 345 articles were enrolled. The effect of 400 mcg/day intervention was more pronounced when compared to 200 mcg/day. Later, in 1998, the role of physical activity was illustrated and as a result, a significant change in body composition was seen. Volpe et al. found a slight relationship between 400 mcg/day of chromium supplementation and decrease in body fat mass (mean=1.78%/max=7.54%). Liu et al. reported no significant changes in BMI, fat mass, and fat-free mass. Moreover, Yazaki et al. investigated the effect of 1000 mcg supplementation. Still, no change was seen in BMI neither in the first 12 weeks nor whole 24 weeks of the study. It might have slightly positive effects on decreasing body fat and increasing lean body mass.
Conclusion: The undertaken studies mostly showed better and stronger results for the effect of chromium supplementation on body weight or fat mass when physical activity was included or higher doses were consumed.