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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Chromium Picolinate and Picolinic Acid Supplementation Affect Menstrual Symptomatology But Not Cognitive Performance

item Penland, James
item Lukaski, Henry

Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 2000
Publication Date: March 7, 2001
Citation: Penland, J.G., Lukaski, H.C. 2001. Chromium picolinate and picolinic acid supplementation affect menstrual symptomatology but not cognitive performance [abstract]. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 15:A1089.

Technical Abstract: The consumption of chromium (Cr) supplements has increased markedly in recent years despite the paucity of well-controlled studies of its biologic and behavioral effects in humans. As part of a study designed to assess the effects of Cr on body composition and iron status, menstrual symptoms and cognitive performance were evaluated in 83 women (aged 18-50 y) fed a low Cr diet (29 mcg/d) and supplemented (double-blind) with either 187 mcg/d Cr (as Cr picolinate), 1700 mcg/d picolinic acid or a placebo (starch) for 12 wks following a 2-wk baseline (no supplement) period. Women completed a 60-item menstrual symptom checklist daily and a computerized battery of 8 cognitive and psychomotor tasks monthly throughout the study. Compared to placebo, both active supplements increased the incidence and severity of self-reported intermenstrual anxiety (p<0.03), depression (p<0.02) and negative affect (p<0.006), and premenstrual negative affect (p<0.05), pain (p=0.05) and water retention (p<0.03). Cognitive testing revealed no significant effects of supplementation on tasks measuring attention, perception, memory, reasoning, motor speed or eye-hand coordination. Findings indicate that supplements containing picolinic acid may have negative consequences for menstrual symptomatology and mood states in otherwise healthy women.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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