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Nutrition 21 Partners with Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation to Combat Epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes Among Tribal Members

Diachrome® Adopted as Adjunct Nutritional Therapy in Physician
Supervised Health Outcomes Initiative at Tribal Nation in North Dakota

PURCHASE, NY, and BISMARCK, ND, April 7, 2005 – Nutrition 21, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXXI) and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation today announced the initiation of their collaboration to conduct the first Diachrome® Physician Supervised Health Outcomes Initiative among Native Americans living with type 2 diabetes. The program will evaluate the health benefits and costs savings that can be achieved when Diachrome, a patented combination of Chromax® chromium picolinate and biotin specifically formulated for people with type 2 diabetes, is used in clinical practice. The program will include 600 MHA tribal members diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and it will be supervised by Corey Arcelay, MD a physician for the MHA Nation who practices at the Minne-Tohe Health Center in New Town, North Dakota.

“Diachrome supplementation will be added to our existing diabetes treatment program, which includes health education, diet, exercise and anti-diabetic medication,” commented Dr. Arcelay. “Diachrome has an excellent safety profile, and the initial clinical results look very promising. A few of our patients have already responded favorably to Diachrome. If these results are confirmed in a broader cross section of our patients over the next four months, then Diachrome will be included in the Indian Health Services formulary stock.”

“We are pleased to have Nutrition 21 join us in our declared ‘War on Diabetes’,” said Tex Hall, chairman of the MHA Nation and president of the National Congress of American Indians. “In an effort to combat the devastating effects of this disease on our people, we are always looking for new, cutting edge treatments to add to our existing arsenal of weapons against diabetes. We welcome Diachrome into our MHA diabetes treatment program and look forward to successful results.”

In 2002 the National Institute of Health reported that approximately 15 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives who receive care from the Indian Health Service have been diagnosed with diabetes; a total of 105,000 people. On average, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.6 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of a similar age and are at increased risk for heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and other diabetes-related complications. According to federal statistics, Native Americans are 420% more likely to die from diabetes than the rest of the United States population.

Nutrition 21 plans to expand the Diachrome Physician Supervised Health Outcomes Initiative to include tribal healthcare leaders serving an estimated 38,000 Native Americans on four Indian Reservations in North and South Dakota later this year. “Much like our alliance with XL Health, the MHA partnership allows us to move Diachrome into clinical practice in a public health setting using evidence-based medicine as a model for physician recommendation. Our ultimate business objective is to secure wide scale adoption of Diachrome as a treatment protocol in the management of type 2 diabetes, not just in minority populations in the US, but in affected populations across the globe,” said Gail Montgomery, president and CEO of Nutrition 21.

About the MHA Nation:

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, located on the Fort Berthold Reservation in north-central North Dakota is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people, three distinct tribal nations that were combined on one reservation by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. Today, the population is just over 11,000, with about 6,000 living on the reservation and the remaining tribal people living elsewhere in North Dakota, the United States and abroad. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s the Garrison Diversion Project created the Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea and flooded 156,000 acres of the reservation’s prime river bottomlands and forced the relocation of tribal members to the harsh prairie uplands. Because of that, forced relocation, many tribal members who were used to growing their own livestock and food crops contracted diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, psychological and other stress disorders. Eating processed foods and sugars caused obesity and the accompanying health complications that come along with such a disease. Chairman Tex Hall recognizing the harm these diseases particularly diabetes causes among his people has declared a “War on 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 36 patents for nutrition products and uses, 27 of which are for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at

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Stacey Antine, MS, RD, 914-701-4567
Glenda Embry, BS, MA 701-627-4781, ext. 8115

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