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Health News Archive 186 - Diet and Weight Loss
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Chromium Picolinate Reduces Carb Cravings

Over a period of eight weeks, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in subjects with atypical depression to assess the effects of carbohydrate cravings.  Carbohydrate cravings, weight gain and unexplained fatigue are characteristic symptoms of atypical depression.  The 110 patients constituting the intent-to-treat (ITT) population received 600 mcg/day of elemental chromium, as Chromax chromium picolinate (n=70), or placebo (n=40).

The ITT group was defined as patients who received at least one dose of study medication and completed at least one study evaluation, while the evaluable population was the subject of 75 patients (n=30) chromium picolinate and 25 placebo), who took at least 80%of the study product with no significant protocol devaluations.  Preliminary efficacy measures were the 29-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D-29) and the Clinical Global Impressions Improvement Scale (CGI-I), 

Investigators found no significant difference between the chromium picolinate and placebo groups on overall improvement on the primary efficacy measures. (both the placebo and treatment groups significantly improved from baseline).  However, the chromium picolinate group in the evaluable populations showed significantly greater improvements in four HAM-D-29 items: carbohydrate craving, appetite increase, increased eating, and diurnal variation of feeling.  In addition, the chromium picolinate group reporting the highest levels of carbohydrate craving showed significantly greater improvements than the placebo group on overall HAM-D-29 scores. 

These results held true for both the ITT group (65%chromium picolinate vs. 33% placebo), and the evaluable group (80% chromium picolinate also showed significant improvements.  These results held true for both the ITT group (65% chromium picolinate vs. 33% placebo) and the evaluable group (80% chromium picolinate vs. 38% placebo).  The high carbohydrate cravers in the ITT population treated with chromium picolinate also showed significant improvements compared to placebo on three of the same HAM-D-29 items: carbohydrate craving, appetite insurance, increased eating, and appetite reasons and increased eating.

Source: J Psychiatr Pract, September 2005;11(5):302-14.

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