New Discovery Helps Explain Chromium Picolinates Cellular Actions in Enhancing Blood Glucose Metabolism

Study Results from the University of Vermont Medical College Presented at American Diabetes Association Scientific Session

New Orleans, June 16, 2003 (Nutrition 21, Inc. Nasdaq: NXXI) -- Results from a new study on chromium picolinate, presented Saturday, June 14 at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 63rd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, provide compelling evidence of chromium’s beneficial actions on intracellular metabolic functions that enhance blood sugar control. The findings were presented by Dr. Zhong Wang from the University of Vermont Medical College and contribute to the understanding of how chromium picolinate supplementation may help millions of people with diabetes better manage their health.

Research indicates that chromium, in the form of chromium picolinate, enhances insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism and improves glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. However, the cellular mechanism involved is not yet fully understood. Dr. Wang and colleagues studied the effects of chromium picolinate on gene expression in human skeletal muscle cells. “The analysis suggests that genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism (TNF-alpha and ubiquitin proteins) may be down-regulated in the presence of chromium picolinate,” according to the researchers.

“The discovery of the intracellular effects of chromium picolinate on gene expression is extremely important because the findings help explain the clinical benefits seen in people with type 2 diabetes,” states James Komorowski, MS, Vice President of Technical Services and Scientific Affairs, Nutrition 21, Inc., which supplied Chromax® chromium picolinate for the study.

TNF-alpha has been linked with obesity-associated insulin resistance and the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, while ubiquitin breaks down proteins and may turn off carbohydrate metabolism. Down-regulation of these genes helps shed light on how chromium enhances carbohydrate metabolism and glucose control.

“The University of Vermont’s findings support Nutrition 21’s commitment to realizing the potential of chromium picolinate as an effective and safe nutritional supplement for enhanced insulin function,” stated Gail Montgomery, Nutrition 21’s president and CEO. “The growing research on chromium conducted by the world’s leading scientists continues to show promise for the 17 million Americans with type 2 diabetes as well as the 150 million worldwide.”

Chromium is an essential mineral that is a co-factor of insulin. As diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease associated with insulin resistance reach epidemic proportions, healthcare practitioners are increasingly eager to provide patients with safe, efficacious and cost-effective complementary interventions to support the health of their patients. Chromax chromium picolinate is the most clinically tested brand of chromium with proven efficacy for support of glucose metabolism.

About Nutrition 21

Nutrition 21 is a leading developer and provider of nutritional products, whose health benefits are substantiated by clinical research. The Company markets Chromax chromium picolinate, the leading brand of chromium, and holds 35 patents for nutrition products, 22 for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at More information about Chromax is available at

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