Fact sheet

Chromium amplifies the biological actions of insulin, a hormone that is critical for the normal regulation of carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism. 6, 7, 13


Chromium picolinate supplementation promotes glucose uptake by cells, producing beneficial effects on decreasing BMI, fasting insulin and free testosterone in PCOS patients.9, 10, 11

Comparison of the effects of chromium picolinate vs. metformin in clomiphen citrate resistant PCOS patients

Chromium picolinate decreased fasting blood sugar and insulin levels and, thus, increased insulin sensitivity in clomiphene citrate-resistance PCOS women. These effects were comparable with metformin.

Overall, chromium picolinate was better tolerated compared to metformin.9

Sedigheh Amooee et al. Metformin versus chromium picolinate in clomiphene citrate-resistant patients with PCOS:A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Iran J Reprod Med Vol. 11. No. 8. pp: 611-618, August 2013.

Chromium picolinate is useful in PCOS to reduce insulin resistance and stimulate ovulation.10

Women with ULTRASOUND evidence of ovulation (%)

Sedigheh Amooee et al. Metformin versus chromium picolinate in clomiphene citrate-resistant patients with PCOS:A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Iran J Reprod Med Vol. 11. No. 8. pp: 611-618, August 2013.

Useful references:

1. José Bellver, Luis Rodríguez-Tabernero, Ana Robles, Elkin Muñoz, Francisca Martínez, José Landeras, Juan García-Velasco, Juan Fontes, Mónica Álvarez, Claudio Álvarez, Belén Acevedo. Polycystic ovary syndrome throughout a woman’s life. J Assist Reprod Genet (2018) 35:25–39.
2. Uche Anadu Ndefo, Angie Eaton, Monica Robinson Green. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome A Review of Treatment Options With a Focus on Pharmacological Approaches. Vol. 38 No. 6 • June 2013 • P&T.
3. Carrie C. Dennett1 and Judy Simon The Role of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Reproductive and Metabolic Health: Overview and Approaches for Treatment. SPECTRUM.DIABETESJOURNALS.ORG.
DOI: 10.2337/diaspect.28.2.116
4. Per O. Dale, Tom Tanbo, Egil Haug, Thomas Åbyholm. The impact of insulin resistance on the outcome of ovulation induction with low-dose FSH in women with PCOS. Human Reproduction vol.13 no.3 pp.567–570, 1998.
5. PCOS International evidence-based guideline 2018.
6. Samir Bhattacharya et al. Mechanism of Lipid Induced Insulin Resistance: An Overview.
7. Samuel T Olatunbosun. Insulin Resistance.
8. Max C. Petersen, Gerald I. Shulman. Mechanisms of Insulin Action and Insulin Resistance. 01 AUG 2018
9. A.O. Oladejo. Overview of the metabolic syndrome; an emerging pandemic of public health significance. Ann Ib Postgrad Med. 2011 Dec; 9(2): 78–82.
10. Matthew B. Lanktree, Robert A. Hegele. Metabolic Syndrome. Genomic and Precision Medicine (Third Edition), 2018.
11. Renato Pasquali, Alessandra Gambineri. Insulin-sensitizing agents in polycystic ovary syndrome. European Journal of Endocrinology (2006) 154 763–775.
12. Marcos Felipe Silva de Sá. Widding the Use of Insulin Sensitizers to Patients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome-A Late, but Wise Decision Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet. vol.41 no.3 Rio de Janeiro Mar. 2019 Epub May 16, 201.
13. William T. Cefalu, Frank B. Hu. Role of Chromium in Human Health and in Diabetes. Diabetes care, Volume 27, Number 11, November 2004.
14. Peter J. Havel. A Scientific review: The Role of Chromium in Insulin Resistance.
15. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to chromium. EFSA Journal 2010;8(10):1732.
16. Sedigheh Amooee, Mohammad Ebrahim Parsanezhad, Maryam Ravanbod Shirazi, Saeed Alborzi, Alamtaj Samsami. Metformin versus chromium picolinate in clomiphene citrate-resistant patients with PCOS: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Iran J Reprod Med Vol. 11. No. 8. pp: 611-618, August 2013.
17. Sherif Ashoush, Amgad Abou-Gamrah, Hassan Bayoumy, Noura Othman. Chromium picolinate reduces insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome: Randomized controlled trial. J. Obstet. Gynaecol. Res. Vol. 42, No. 3: 279–285, March 2016.
18. Siavash Fazelian, Mohmad H. Rouhani, Sahar S. Bank, Reza Amani. Chromium supplementation and PCOS: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 42, April 2017.
19. C. Leigh Broadhurst, Philip Domenico. Clinical Studies on Chromium Picolinate Supplementation in Diabetes Mellitus – A Review.
20. Opinion on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Trivalent Chromium. European Commission, Health & Conusmer Protection Directorate-General, Scientific Committee on Food, SCF/CS/NUT/UPPLEV/67 Final, 23 April 2003.
21. Anderson RA. Chromium in the prevention and control of diabetes. Diabetes Metab. 2000;26:22-27.
22. Kaats, G.R.; Blum et al. A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study of the effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition: A replication and extension of a previous study. Curr. Ther. Res. 1998, 59, 379–388.].
23. Arturo Bevilacqua, Mariano Bizzarri. Inositols in Insulin Signaling and Glucose Metabolism. International Journal of Endocrinology, Volume 2018, Article ID 1968450.
24. Simona Dinicola, Mirko Minini, Vittorio Unfer, Roberto Verna, Alessandra Cucina, Mariano Bizzarri. Nutritional and Acquired Deficiencies in Inositol Bioavailability. Correlations with Metabolic Disorders. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2017.
25. Jean-Patrice Baillargeon, Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, Richard E. Ostlund, Jr., Teimuraz Apridonidze, Maria J. Iuorno, John E. Nestler. Altered D-Chiro-Inositol Urinary Clearance in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Diabetes Care 29:300–305, 2006.
26. Cristiana Paul, Antonio Simone Lagana, Paolo Maniglio, Onofrio Triolo, David M. Brady. Inositol’s and other nutraceuticals’ synergistic actions counteract insulin resistance in PCOS and metabolic syndrome: state-of-the-art and future perspectives. Gynecol Endocrinol, 2016.
27. Maurizi AR, et al. A pilot study of D-chiro-inositol plus folic acid in overweight patients with type 1 diabetes. Acta Diabetol. 2017 Apr;54(4):361-365.
28. Sortino MA, et al. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Insights into the Therapeutic Approach with Inositols. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Jun 8;8:341.
29. P. Piomboni, R. Focarelli, A. Capaldo, A. Stendardi, V. Cappelli, A. Cianci, A. La Marca, A. Luddi, V. De Leo. Protein modification as oxidative stress marker in follicular fluid from women with polycystic ovary syndrome: the effect of inositol and metformin. J Assist Reprod Genet (2014) 31:1269–1276.
30. John E. Nestler, Daniela J. Jakubowicz, Paula Reamer, Ronald D. Gunn, Geoffrey Allan. Ovulatory and metabolic effects of d-chiro-inositol in the polycystic ovary syndrome. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1999.
31. R. Keith Campbell. A Critical Review of Chromium Picolinate and Biotin. US Pharm. 2006; 31(11) (Diabetes suppl)1-4.
32. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to biotin. EFSA Journal 2009; 7(9):1209.
33. Cristina Fernandez-Mejia, Maria-Luisa Lazo-de-la-Vega-Monroy. Biological Effects of Pharmacological Concentrations of Biotin. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 16(1) 40-48 ª, 2011.
34. Dakshinamurti K, Tarrago-Litvak L, Hong HC. Biotin and glucose metabolism. Can J Biochem. 1970;48:493-500.
35. Furukawa Y. Enhancement of glucose-induced insulin secretion and modification of glucose metabolism by biotin. Nippon Rinsho. 1999;57:2261-2269.
36. Wang ZQ, Zhang XH, Cefalu WT. Chromium picolinate and biotin enhance glycogen synthesis and glycogen synthase gene expression in human skeletal muscle culture [abstract]. Diab Res Clin Pract. 2000;50:395.
37. Juturu V, Ruelle A, et al. Improved glycemic control after diabetes education and chromium picolinate/biotin supplementation in type 2 diabetes: Results from patients experience pilot program. Trace Elements Electrolytes. 2006;2:66-72.
38. Albarracin C, Fuqua B, et al. Effect of chromium picolinate and biotin combination on coronary risk lipids and lipoproteins in subjects with non HDL–C (>130 mg/dL) in type 2 diabetes mellitus [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005;25:E98-99 (abstr. P266).
39. Juturu V, Geohas J, et al. Chromium picolinate and biotin combination reduces coronary risk factors [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004;24:E66 (abstr. P88).
40. Darryn Willoughby et al. Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review. Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1876;