Congress Encourages Research on Chromium Picolinate and Diabetes

Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill Recognizes that Chromium Supplementation May Benefit Native American and Pediatric Populations

PURCHASE, NY, December 16, 2004 – Nutrition 21, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXXI) announced today that a bill signed into law by President George Bush includes Report Language that recognizes that “chromium picolinate can restore normal glucose metabolism by enhancing insulin sensitivity,” and encourages the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to expand its chromium research program. The bill supports earlier findings for chromium supplementation in delaying the onset of diabetes in certain high-risk populations including Native American and pediatric populations.

The language is part of the Fiscal 2005, Labor-Health Subcommittee on Appropriations bill that provides for an $800 million increase in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over last year as part of Congress’ continued commitment to curing disease through NIH research.

“Given the chronic nature and the devastating economic impact of type 2 diabetes, it is important to use the most cost-effective measures to help improve glycemic control in people living with the disease,” said Gail Montgomery, president and CEO of Nutrition 21. “This government recognition of chromium picolinate research and preliminary pharmacoeconomic analysis indicating healthcare savings is another important milestone in our effort to raise public awareness and to increase visibility within the medical and academic research communities of the benefits of chromium picolinate supplementation.”

Chromium is an essential mineral that is critical to proper insulin function. Low chromium levels have been linked with increased risk of insulin-based diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Chromium picolinate is increasingly recognized among health professionals and consumers for its role as a safe and effective nutritional supplement for people with insulin resistance and at risk for diabetes -- a worldwide epidemic affecting an estimated 190 million people.

To date, there are three NIH funded ongoing clinical trial programs studying chromium picolinate’s role in diabetic and pre-diabetic populations, and a fourth has been approved. In addition, the relationship between chromium and weight gain is being evaluated in the Look AHEAD Study by John Hopkins researchers.

Congressional Report Language
Chromium nutrition and diabetes. – Recent research has demonstrated that chromium picolinate can restore normal glucose metabolism by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Impaired insulin sensitivity is a major factor leading to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In clinical studies in people with type 2 diabetes, chromium supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce elevated blood sugar levels and improve long-term blood sugar control. The beneficial effects were predominantly seen in populations who were overweight and insulin resistant. Since it has been shown that many Native Americans have severely impaired insulin sensitivity and are overweight, a strong case can be made to support the hypothesis that chromium supplementation can significantly help Native American populations. In addition to potential treatment benefits, chromium supplementation in overweight pediatric populations may restore normal glucose metabolism, and thereby reduce or delay the onset of diabetes. Therefore, NCCAM is encouraged to expand upon these early findings to support research on chromium supplementation as a safe, effective, low cost nutritional therapy for type 2 diabetes.

About Nutrition 21
Nutrition 21 is a nutritional bioscience company and the maker of chromium-based supplements with health benefits substantiated by clinical research. The company markets Chromax® chromium picolinate, which is the most-studied form of the essential mineral chromium. Nutrition 21 also developed Diachrome®, which is available through diabetes educators or at Nutrition 21 holds 34 patents for nutrition products and uses, 25 of which are for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at

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Stacey Antine, MS, RD,

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