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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Oct;66(4):944-9.

Chromium picolinate supplementation and resistive training by older men: effects on iron-status and hematologic indexes.

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Donald W Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205-7199, USA.


Chromium competes with iron for binding to transferrin, and high-dose chromium supplementation has been hypothesized to adversely affect iron status. This study examined the effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on hematologic indexes and selected indexes of iron status in 18 men aged 56-69 y who participated in an introductory resistive training program. The men were randomly assigned (double-blind design) to groups (n = 9) that consumed either 17.8 mumol Cr/d (924 micrograms Cr/d) as chromium picolinate or a low-chromium placebo for 12 wk while engaging in resistive training twice weekly (3 sets of 8-12 repetitions at 80% of one repetition maximum for 5 exercises). Hematocrit, hemoglobin, red blood cell (erythrocyte) count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, red blood cell distribution width, platelet count, and mean platelet volume were within normal clinical ranges and were unchanged by either chromium picolinate supplementation or resistive training. Resistive training decreased total-iron-binding capacity from 38.4 +/- 9.3 to 27.3 +/- 5.6 mumol/L (P < 0.0001) and increased transferrin saturation from 35.7 +/- 16.3% to 45.4 +/- 16.9% (P = 0.050). Chromium picolinate supplementation did not influence these responses. Serum iron concentrations and serum ferritin concentrations were unchanged by either resistive training or chromium picolinate supplementation. These data suggest that high-dose chromium picolinate supplementation for 12 wk did not influence hematologic indexes or indexes of iron metabolism or status in older men. The decrease in total-iron-binding capacity and increase in transferrin saturation (%) with resistive training are largely opposite to changes associated with iron depletion and suggest a novel effect of resistive training on iron transport.

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