Doctors Say Chromium Does Not Accelerate Weight Loss


Chromium has been touted by some as a weight-loss miracle supplement since the 1950’s when doctors discovered that it improved animal’s ability to tolerate and process the sugar glucose. These results did not translate to humans, but the trace mineral is still often said to accelerate weight loss because of the way it impacts insulin’s effectiveness. Insulin is the hormone that triggers your body to transfer sugar from your blood into cells where it can be converted into energy. Having too much insulin in your body can damage cells, and resistance to insulin can lead to weight gain. Any way to have a lower amount of insulin work effectively in the body would have a positive effect on weight loss. However, chromium is useless after a human body reaches its daily capacity of 25 micrograms for women, an amount easily consumed through diet or supplements. After hitting that level, more chromium does not impact weight loss.

Most chromium supplements contain between 200 and 1,000 micrograms, a level high above that required by the body. A study in 2007 found that chromium supplements had no effect on weight loss or iron levels in women. Another study conducted in 2008 combined chromium with another common weight loss supplement, conjugated lineolic acids (CLA), and also determined the supplements to have no impact on weight. Finally a 24-week study in 2010 concluded the same verdict, that chromium will not lead to magic weight loss. Doctors instead recommend sticking to your diet, and increasing exercise to shed pounds.

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