PURCHASE, N.Y., Apr 24, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nutrition 21, Inc. (NXXI) , a leading developer and marketer of chromium-based, selenium-based and omega-3 fish oil-based nutritional supplements, today announced that the Company has obtained an exclusive license for pharmaceutical uses of chromium histidinate and one of only two licenses being granted for other uses of chromium histidinate. The licenses were granted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Company subsequently applied for patents for use of chromium histidinate as a dietary supplement, both alone and in combination with Chromium picolinate. Certain uses of Chromium histidinate are also covered by patents already owned by the company for chromium generally. The existing and applied for patents cover all known nutritional uses of chromium histidinate as a dietary supplement.

"Backed by a body of clinical evidence, we are developing a position as a market leader in blood sugar management through sales of Chromax(R) chromium picolinate and Diachrome(R). The chromium histidinate compound is a significant addition to the company's existing intellectual property portfolio," said Paul Intlekofer, CEO of Nutrition 21. "This new chromium compound appears to have unique activity that is complementary to our chromium picolinate. We intend to incorporate the histidinate complex into some of our existing products as well as future product extensions to further enhance efficacy and bioavailability."

The new formulation is a complex of the mineral chromium and the amino acid histidine. Histidine is one of the essential amino acids and is found in protein-containing foods. According to several prominent researchers, chromium histidinate is safe and highly absorbed into the bloodstream.(1)

Mr. Intlekofer concluded, "Our research on chromium picolinate and several of our patented combinations have shown beneficial effects in lowering elevated blood sugar similar to current prescription medications. With a full patent life remaining on the chromium histidinate compound, we are in a position to consider pursuing a drug development pathway in the future."

About Nutrition 21
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 www.cvs.com. 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 http://www.nutrition21.com/.

(1) Anderson, R.A., M.M. Polansky, and N.A. Bryden. 2004. Stability and absorption of chromium and absorption of chromium histidinate complexes by humans. Biological Trace Element Research 101(December):211-218.