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Chromium supplementation for menstrual cycle-related mood symptoms.

Author(s): Brownley KA(1), Girdler SS, Stout AL, McLeod MN.

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)1Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Publication date & source: 2013, J Diet Suppl. , 10(4):345-56

BACKGROUND: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) afflicts ~7% of reproductive-age women resulting in impaired relationships, diminished overall quality of life, and disability-adjusted life years lost on par with other major psychiatric disorders. Response to pharmacological treatment is inadequate in ~50% of women with PMDD. OBJECTIVE: The goal of the present study is to evaluate the effects of a novel approach-short-term chromium supplementation-on menstrual cycle-related mood and physical symptoms. METHODS: Five women were studied under single-blind conditions in a private clinical setting (2 of them were referred specifically for treatment-resistant menstrual-related symptoms); 6 women completed a double-blind crossover study of chromium plus placebo versus chromium plus sertraline in a university clinical research setting. Treatments were administered from mid-cycle to onset of menses in 1-month intervals. Symptom ratings were obtained by self-report, using daily symptom checklists, and by clinical assessment, using the Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scale. RESULTS: Overall, chromium treatment was associated with reduced mood symptoms and improved overall health satisfaction in most participants. In some cases, chromium alone was associated with marked clinical improvement; in others, chromium plus an antidepressant resulted in greater improvement than either chromium alone or an antidepressant alone. CONCLUSION: These preliminary observations suggest that chromium may be a useful monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for women suffering from significant menstrual cycle-related symptoms. Larger, controlled studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of chromium treatment in this patient population.

Page last updated: 2014-11-30

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