The bill, says the company, includes the affirmation that "chromium picolinate can restore normal glucose metabolism by enhancing insulin sensitivity" and encourages the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to expand its chromium research program.
This recognition forms part of the labor/health subcommittee bill that provides for an $800 million increase in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget in 2005 for furthering research into diseases.
"Given the chronic nature and the devastating economic impact of type 2 diabetes, it is important to use the most cost-effective measures to help improve glycemic control in people living with the disease," said Gail Montgomery, CEO of Nutrition 21.
The US health department earlier this month announced a national action plan to stem the rising tide of diabetes, providing supplement manufacturers with plenty of marketing opportunities.
The HHS is describing the initiative as a "step-by-step guide to activities and resources against a disease that affects more than 18 million Americans".
"The most effective way to bring this problem under control is for government, business, health care providers, schools, communities and the media, as well as people with diabetes and their families to work together," said HHS secretary Tommy Thompson.
The global incidence of the risk factors that cause diabetes, collectively known as the 'metabolic syndrome', is soaring. The clinical conditions linked to the metabolic syndrome are obesity, type 2 diabetes, abnormal blood fats and raised blood pressure. Each of these conditions is a risk-factor for the metabolic syndrome in its own right, but if individuals have more than one of these conditions the risk is multiplied.
In most cases, development of the metabolic syndrome is caused by eating too much of the wrong kind of foods and taking too little exercise. Further research into the impact of diet on these risk factors could however help supplement and functional food makers offer products designed to reduce risk for some of the thousands forecast to develop the disease.
At the beginning of the year, Nutrition 21 submitted a qualified health claim linking chromium picolinate with a reduced risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and related disease conditions to the FDA.
Trials by the company have found daily supplementation of up to 1,000 mcg of chromium, as chromium picolinate alone or in combination with other therapies, helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and other health conditions associated with insulin resistance.
The rapidly growing incidence of type 2 diabetes in the US (almost 1 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year) has encouraged Nutrition 21 to focus on chromium's effects on insulin over recent months.
Approximately 95 million Americans have some degree of insulin resistance, according to the firm, which holds patents for the therapeutic use of chromium picolinate in addressing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.