Friday, July 16, 2010

A Word on Chromium Supplementation and Body Weight/-Composition

In his doctoral thesis at Chester University Brian G. Black investigated the hypothesis that "supplementation with chromium is capable of positively influencing changes in body composition, through increased muscle mass accretion or preservation and reduction of body fat mass in exercising and sedentary individuals." Or in other words, the idea of his dissertation was to evaluate whether the promises of various producers of chromium supplements are scientifically sound, or whether the abating craze about chromium (picolinate) is nothing but a marketing-hype.
Black's results, as summarized in the appendix to his dissertation, appear unequivocal at first sight. A closer examination and the consideration of the individual study-design(s) and biases of their authors, however, led Dr. Black to conclude:
"The claims that chromium supplements on the market are capable of enhancing body fat loss and muscle mass accretion are not supported by the findings of well-designed and bias controlled studies."
Q: So what exactly does that mean? A: Assuming you do not have a major chromium deficiency (established via reliable laboratory testing), you may safely discard any additional chromium supplement you are taking for improved fat-loss and rely on a balanced and healthy diet to achieve your aims.