, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 53-66

High-dose chromium(III) supplementation has no effects on body mass and composition while altering plasma hormone and triglycerides concentrations

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Chromium is generally believed to be an essential element and is often claimed to have value as a weight loss or muscle building agent. Recent studies in humans and rats have failed to demonstrate effects on body composition, although recent studies with pharmacological doses of the cation [Cr(III)3O(O2CCH2CH3)6(H2O)3]+ (or Cr3) (≤1 mg Cr/kg body mass) in rats have noted a trend toward body mass loss and fat mass loss. Thus, the effects of large gavage doses of Cr3 (1–10 mg Cr/kg) on body mass, organ mass, food intake, and blood plasma variables (insulin, glucose, leptin, cholesterol, and triglycerides) were examined over a 10-wk period using male Sprague-Dawley rats. No effects on body composition were noted, although Cr3 administration lowered (p<0.05) plasma insulin, leptin, and triglycerides concentrations. As Cr3 is absorbed greater than 10-fold better than commercially available nutritional supplements, the lack of an effect of the Cr(III) compound at these levels of administration clearly indicates that Cr(III) supplements do not have an effect on body composition at any reasonable dosage.