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New Study Shows Chromax® Chromium Picolinate is Better Absorbed Than Other Forms of Nutritional Chromium

Data Presented Today at Experimental Biology (FASEB) Conference Support Chromax
As Chromium of Choice for Nutritional Supplements and Foods

SAN DIEGO, APRIL 4, 2005 -- (Nutrition 21, Inc. NASDAQ: NXXI) – A new study shows that Chromax® chromium picolinate is better absorbed by the body than other forms of chromium used as nutritional supplements and in foods. The results of the study, conducted by Ohio State University Department of Nutrition, were presented today at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) annual meeting.

The study compared absorption of four different types of nutritional chromium at a dose of 200 mcg, in the form of: Chromax chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, chromium niacin amino acid chelate and chromium nicotinate. The researchers found that women who consumed chromium supplements absorbed a significantly higher amount of chromium picolinate, as compared with the other three types of chromium, based on 24-hour urine content analysis.1 Absorption of chromium from chromium chloride was found to be very low and not much different than baseline. Chromium chloride is commonly used in multi-vitamin and mineral formulations for consumption as supplements and is also widely utilized in vitamin and mineral pre-mixes for food fortification.

“The results indicate that not all forms of chromium are the same,” said lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University in Columbus. “Knowing which form of chromium is best absorbed by the body is important information for consumers who hope to achieve the optimal health benefits associated with chromium supplementation. The data is also significant for healthcare providers in determining which type of chromium supplement to recommend to patients. In addition, understanding which form and what dose of chromium to use in clinical studies is important to the advancement of chromium research.”

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 large and growing body of clinical studies indicates that nutritional supplementation with chromium, especially in the form of chromium picolinate, can improve insulin function and blood sugar control in people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

“This study is a significant milestone for Nutrition 21 because it further distinguishes Chromax from other forms of chromium. These data will help guide manufacturers in selecting a better absorbed form of chromium for use in their product formulations, so that they can meet the consumer expectation for delivering product benefits,” said Gail Montgomery, president and CEO, Nutrition 21. “Chromax is the most-researched form of chromium. These new findings further support its position as the optimal delivery form for improved chromium nutrition, a category that is increasingly being recognized as important for maintaining metabolic health”

Study Design
The study included 12 young adult women, each assigned to take a single dose of 200 mcg nutritional chromium. A crossover design was used with random order of administering different types of chromium supplements: Chromax chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, chromium niacin amino acid chelate and chromium nicotinate. Researchers tested the subjects’ urine, collected over 24 hours after chromium supplementation, to determine how much chromium they had absorbed. After a washout period of up to two weeks, the women repeated the sequence three more times, each time with a different form of chromium. Chromium picolinate gave a considerably higher mean value than the two nicotinate-based preparations or 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-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 36 patents for nutrition products, 27 of which are for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at


1 DiSilvestro R. et al., Comparison of acute absorption of various types of chromium supplement complexes, presented at Experimental Biology 2005, sponsored by FASEB, on April 2, 2005.
2 Ibid

Stacey Antine, MS, RD,

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