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EFSA Issues Positive Safety Statement for the Use of Chromium Picolinate in EU Food Supplements

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concludes no safety concerns for the use of chromium picolinate in food supplements, in response to Nutrition 21's Application to market Chromax(R) chromium picolinate in Europe.

PURCHASE, N.Y., June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nutrition 21, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXXI), the developer and marketer of nutritional supplements under the Iceland Health(R) and Diabetes Essentials brands, announced today that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released its safety assessment supporting the use of chromium picolinate in food supplements in the European Union (EU). In its safety assessment, the EFSA concluded that chromium picolinate does not present a safety concern when used as a source of chromium in food supplements. This assessment is an initial step in the procedure for the formal EU approval of chromium picolinate as an acceptable form of supplemental chromium.

To assist Nutrition 21 in the submission of data for the EFSA to conduct its safety assessment the Company retained Cantox Health Sciences International, a leading international scientific and regulatory consulting firm. Nigel Baldwin, Ingredient Safety Expert from Cantox Health Sciences International, stated, "The EFSA's review and published opinion show the level of detail that we and Nutrition 21 went through to clearly demonstrate chromium picolinate as the form of chromium with the most safety data behind it. We are pleased with the EFSA's safety assessment of chromium picolinate. The standards set by the EFSA are the gold standards for the rest of the world and we believe this bodes well for Nutrition 21."

Chromax chromium picolinate is Nutrition 21's top selling nutritional supplement ingredient in the U.S. Approval of this ingredient in the EU would allow Nutrition 21 to enter into these new markets. William J. Levi, Vice President - Ingredients for Nutrition 21, stated, "This is an exciting development for our Ingredients business. Expansion into the European Union is an important component of our growth strategy. We already have active business development projects with potential strategic customers, and expect to announce an exclusive arrangement with a leading European ingredients manufacturer to distribute Chromax chromium picolinate throughout Europe upon formal EU approval."

James Komorowski, Vice President, Research & Development of Nutrition 21, commented, "The safety of Chromax chromium picolinate continues to be supported by numerous independent expert reviews worldwide. This is extremely important, particularly in recent times when the safety of certain dietary supplements is being questioned. The EFSA's conclusion on chromium picolinate provides our future EU customers with the added security of knowing this product is safe as they make educated decisions on what supplements to purchase."

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment regarding food and feed safety. In close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks.

About Nutrition 21

Nutrition 21, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXXI), headquartered in Purchase, NY, is a nutritional bioscience company and the maker of chromium picolinate-based and omega-3 fish oil-based supplements with health benefits substantiated by clinical research. Nutrition 21 holds more than 30 patents for nutrition products and uses. Nutrition 21's portfolio of health and wellness products include: Iceland Health Chromax(R), Iceland Health Advanced Memory Formula(TM), Diabetes Essentials, Iceland Health(R) Maximum Strength Omega-3 and Iceland Health(R) Joint Relief. The company also manufactures private label supplements and ingredients for third parties. Nutrition 21 distributes its products nationally through more than 29,000 major food, drug and super center stores throughout the United States and internationally. For more information please visit

Safe Harbor Provision

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate" and other similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the Company's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation: the effect of the expiration of patents; regulatory issues; uncertainty in the outcomes of clinical trials; changes in external market factors; changes in the Company's business or growth strategy or an inability to execute its strategy due to changes in its industry or the economy generally; the emergence of new or growing competitors; various other competitive factors; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K/A for the year ended June 30, 2008. Actual results could differ materially from the results referred to in the forward-looking statements. In light of these risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the results referred to in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will in fact occur. Additionally, the Company makes no commitment to disclose any revisions to forward-looking statements, or any facts, events or circumstances after the date hereof that may bear upon forward-looking statements.

    Company Contact:                     Investor Contact:
    James Komorowski, M.S., C.N.S.       Alan Kirschbaum
    Vice President                       Chief Financial Officer
    914-701-4500                         914-701-4500

SOURCE Nutrition 21, Inc.
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