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New clinical data shows chromium picolinate improves cognitive function

PURCHASE, N.Y., December 13, 2007 Nutrition 21, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXXI), a leading developer and marketer of chromium-based and omega-3 fish oil-based nutritional supplements, today announced the results of a clinical study that showed daily supplementation with 1000 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate improved cognitive function in older adults experiencing early memory decline. The results of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study were presented to the medical community at a neurological meeting.

Blood circulation and nutrient flow to the brain decrease as a result of aging, which can affect cognition. Previous studies have shown that chromium picolinate improves insulin sensitivity, which allows glucose, the brains main fuel, to be processed more efficiently.

Impaired glucose metabolism and insulin resistance have been linked to age-related cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimers disease. These findings suggest that improving glucose metabolism with chromium picolinate supplementation may enhance cognition, said Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., lead investigator and associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. These results are encouraging and indicate that further study of this intervention is warranted. Ultimately, we may find that chromium supplementation offers benefit to patients, given the prevalence of metabolic disorders and associated cognitive decline in the aging population.

In this study, investigators used Nutrition 21s proprietary chromium picolinate found in Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula, a nutritional supplement specifically formulated to improve brain health. Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula contains a unique combination of chromium picolinate, phosphatidylserine (PS) and DHA. These ingredients all play an important role in helping improve memory and maintain brain health. PS and DHA are major components of healthy brain cell membranes and increase communication between brain cells while chromium picolinate increases glucose metabolism.

The results of this clinical study support emerging research that shows chromium has direct effects on cognitive function, said James Komorowski, M.S., Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Nutrition 21. PS and DHA already have established associations with improved cognitive function and we are pleased to see the current findings substantiate the inclusion of chromium picolinate as a key ingredient in Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula.

About the Study

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study measured whether supplementation with chromium picolinate over a 12-week period might improve cognitive function in 21 adults aged 65 years and older with early memory decline. Study participants were asked to learn a list of words presented over several learning trials and, after a delay, were asked to remember the words. Those receiving the chromium picolinate supplement showed a trend for reduced interference from irrelevant words on the memory task (p = 0.12). In addition, on another task assessing fine motor control and speed, the subjects receiving chromium picolinate exhibited enhanced motor speed relative to those receiving placebo (p = 0.16).

Another component of the study measured brain activity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were performed while subjects were working on a demanding cognitive task that involved holding in mind and manipulating information. Preliminary results from the fMRI scans of individuals from the chromium picolinate group and from the placebo group showed that the subjects receiving the active supplement exhibited greater activity in left frontal and left parietal cortices, areas of the brain associated with working memory. The subjects receiving placebo showed no such change.

At the completion of the study, chromium to creatinine ratios were significantly elevated in the chromium picolinate group (p = .008) indicating increased levels of chromium in the blood. The groups did not differ significantly with respect to age (73 versus 69 years), educational level (15.7 versus 15 years), stage and extent of memory impairment (Clinical Dementia Rating sum boxes score, 1.0 versus 0.85) or level of mood disturbance (Profile of Mood States total score, 18.4 versus 16.9).

About Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula

Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula, available in soft gel form, contains a proprietary blend of chromium picolinate, PS and DHA. These ingredients have been scientifically tested for their ability to improve cognitive function:

  • Chromium picolinate is an essential trace mineral that promotes healthy blood sugar, which is important because glucose helps fuel the brain.
  • PS is a naturally occurring phospholipid nutrient essential to the functioning of all cells of the body, but is most concentrated in the brain. PS supports communication between brain cells and promotes improved memory.
  • DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid, most commonly found in fish oil, which maintains brain fluidity and may help in the maintenance of cognitive function.

Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula is manufactured according to strict Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. This product can be taken safely alone or with medication, with optimal results seen in 30 to 90 days. Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula is available at major retailers nationwide in the vitamin section. For more information visit


Contact: Maryrose Lombardo
Nutrition 21  

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