Study Confirms Chromax(R) Chromium Picolinate is Significantly Better Absorbed Than Other Common Forms of Nutritional Chromium

PURCHASE, N.Y., May 23, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nutrition 21, Inc. (NXXI) , a leading developer and marketer of chromium-based, high selenium yeast, and omega-3 fish oil-based nutritional supplements, today announced that a new human clinical study shows that Chromax(R) chromium picolinate is significantly better absorbed by the body than other forms of chromium. The results of the study, conducted by The Ohio State University (OSU) Department of Human Nutrition, were published in the June issue of Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.

The study compared absorption of four different types of commercially available forms of nutritional chromium at a dose of 200 mcg: Chromax(R) chromium picolinate, chromium polynicotinate (also called GTF chromium), chromium nicotinate-glycinate, and chromium chloride. The study subjects absorbed significantly more chromium from chromium picolinate, as compared with three other types of chromium, based on 24-hour urine content analysis. In fact, the researchers note that urinary chromium for chromium picolinate was almost sixteen times higher than for chromium chloride, and over twice that of either of the two nicotinate-based forms.(1)

Measuring the subjects' urinary excretion is a commonly used method to estimate a mineral's absorption in humans and provides an accurate estimation on how much chromium actually enters the blood stream. These results validate similar results previously reported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) showing that, in humans, chromium picolinate is better absorbed than other chromium forms.

"The OSU study is extremely important in clarifying the absorption of various chromium compounds in humans," said James Komorowski, MS, VP Technical Services and Scientific Affairs at Nutrition 21. "Animal studies are sometimes used to measure absorption, but may not accurately reflect the true effects seen in humans. For example, animal studies in which the chromium compounds are tube fed as mixtures are not the same as studies with people taking the actual capsules sold on store shelves. Now that there are two human clinical studies demonstrating superior absorption of Chromax chromium picolinate over other commonly marketed chromium products, the results provide clarity for both consumers and healthcare professionals who are purchasing or recommending a chromium supplement."

Chromium is an essential trace mineral critical to proper insulin function and necessary for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Chromium, which is found naturally in foods in small amounts, is not well absorbed by the body. Research suggests that the typical American diet may not provide enough of this essential mineral. A significant and growing body of clinical studies indicates that supplementation with chromium, especially in the form of chromium picolinate, can safely improve insulin function and blood sugar control in people with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Study Design
The study included twelve healthy female subjects, each assigned to take a single dose of 200 mcg of nutritional chromium. A crossover design was used with random order of administering the four different types of chromium supplements. Researchers tested the subjects' urine, collected over 24 hours after chromium supplementation, to estimate how much chromium they had absorbed. After a washout period of at least one week, the women repeated the sequence three more times, each time with a different form of chromium. Chromium picolinate gave considerably higher mean chromium values than chromium polynicotinate, chromium nicotinate-glycinate and chromium chloride. Chromium chloride produced a much lower mean urinary value than other preparations.(2)

About Nutrition 21, Inc.
Nutrition 21 is a nutritional bioscience company and the maker of chromium picolinate-based, selenium and omega-3 fish oil-based supplements with health benefits substantiated by clinical research. Nutrition 21 holds over 30 patents for nutrition products and uses. The company markets Chromax(R) chromium picolinate, which is the most-studied form of the essential mineral chromium. Chromax, a supplement for healthy and pre-diabetic people that promotes insulin health and helps improve blood sugar metabolism, cardiovascular disease, control cravings and fight weight gain, is now available through food, drug and mass retailers nationwide. Another chromium picolinate-based supplement developed and marketed by Nutrition 21 is Diachrome(R), a proprietary, non-prescription, insulin sensitizer for people with type 2 diabetes. It is sold in select drug retailers nationwide. Nutrition 21 also markets Selenomax(R), a high selenium yeast supplement that stimulates and protects the immune system by supporting antibody production and preventing free-radical damage. Selenomax is available at CVS/pharmacy in all its 6,200 retail stores nationwide, including PharmaCare Specialty Pharmacy locations, and on The Company is the exclusive importer of Icelandic fish oils, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are manufactured to pharmaceutical standards and sold under the Iceland Health(R) brand. More information is available at

(1) DiSilvestro R.A, Dy E., Comparison of acute absorption of commercially available chromium supplements. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2007;21(2):120-4. Epub 2007 Mar 19.
(2) Ibid

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