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June 12, 2006

Nutrition 21 Up on Diabetes Data From Diachrome

Topics: Health Issues

img_product_diachrome1.jpgDiachrome is a patented formulation of chromium picolinate and biotin, and is marketed as a daily supplement taken in conjunction with conventional medications to treat diabetes.

Looking just at the rise in the price per share of it's stock, one would think that Nutrition 21's "Diachrome," might have a promising product for diabetes on it's hands:

Shares of Nutrition 21 Inc. surged Monday after the maker of nutritional and dietary supplements said its diabetes treatment supplement Diachrome lowered blood sugar levels in a clinical study.
The study followed 24 patients with type 2 diabetes and poor blood sugar control despite taking standard medications. After nine months, the supplement helped patients lower their blood sugar levels by an average of almost 1 percent. The company said that 10 out of 24 patients were able to reach the American Diabetes Association's target blood sugar level of 7 percent.
Diachrome is the company's proprietary combination of the nutritional supplements chromium picolinate and biotin.

Nutrition 21 shares rose 14 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $2.04 in morning trading on the Nasdaq. Shares have traded between 45 cents and $2.72 over the past 52 weeks.

A 2005 double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study showed dramatic improvements in study participants who had the highest blood-sugar levels despite the use of prescription medication:

A study shows Diachrome, a nutritional therapy containing chromium picolinate and biotin, can lower blood sugar and cholesterol in those with type 2 diabetes.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study examined an ethnically diverse group of 369 people with diabetes.

The most dramatic improvements were seen in study participants who had the highest blood-sugar levels despite the use of prescription medication, according to lead researcher Dr. Cesar Albarracin, medical director of Alpha Therapy in Corpus Christi, Texas.

"The average reduction in blood sugar levels is comparable to the effect typically seen when adding a second prescription therapy," he said. "There was no observed risk of hypoglycemia."

In September 2005 the FDA approved a "qualified health claim" for chromium picolinate for insulin resistance and possibly type 2 diabetes:
"One small study suggests that chromium picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and therefore possibly may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. FDA concludes, however, that the existence of such a relationship between chromium picolinate and either insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes is highly uncertain."
Let's call the combination of chromium picolinate and biotin for use in Type 2 diabete melitus - interesting, possibly useful in combination with prescription drugs, and I'd love to see more data from a double-blind, controlled, study - from a major research institution that reproduces the previous results with more subjects.

In the meantime - when used under the conditions described by Nutrition 2, you probably can't cause significant harm and it just may do some good. As always, you should ALWAYS check with your physician first before taking any medication or nutritional supplements.

(2004) New Study Shows Nutrient Combination Reduces the Increase in Blood Glucose Levels after Eating Carbohydrates in Moderately Obese People with Type 2 Diabetes - The results of the study, which evaluated 36 subjects over 30 days, were presented today at the Annual Scientific Meeting of North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) in partnership with the American Diabetes Association at Las Vegas, NV and the abstract is published in the October 2004 issue of Obesity Research. ... This trial found significant improvements in blood glucose control in people who added Diachrome to their diabetes treatment regimen, compared to the placebo group. Blood glucose levels were measured at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes following consumption of 75 grams of an oral carbohydrate solution. In the Diachrome group, a significant decrease (p<0.03) was seen in the total increase of blood glucose levels over 2 hours (area under the curve - AUC) after consumption.

Posted by Richard at June 12, 2006 5:24 PM

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