Net loss was reduced from $1.2 to $0.29 million, or -$0.03 to -$0.01 per diluted share.
"We believe that our improving financial results signal that our chromium communications outreach program is beginning to resonate with consumers and healthcare practitioners alike," said president and CEO Gail Montgomery.
However, Montgomery drew attention to more than just the figures as a signal of the company's fortunes.
"This was a significant quarter for our company on many fronts," she said. "While we saw a growth in our year over year ingredient revenues and gross profits… the bigger news relates to the achievement of several milestones during the quarter."
The most important of these milestones, according to Montgomery, was the completion of its study into the effects of Diachrome - a combination of Chromax chromium picolinate and biotin - on people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
The results of the randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, carried out in partnership with XL Health were said to be "positive" and the company is sharing the data with business partners and medical experts with a view to the nutritional therapy being used in clinical practice as a nutritional therapy for diabetics at risk from heart disease.
Montgomery also drew attention to Nutrition 21's first sale of Chromax chromium picolinate as a GRAS ingredient to a beverage company for use in a consumer product.
The role that chromium picolate may play in mitigating the health crisis associated with the increased risk of diabetes amongst a population in the grip of an obesity epidemic was recognized by US congress as part of the labor/health subcommittee bill that was signed into law in December by President George Bush.
The bill 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.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 6.3 percent of Americans - 18.2 million people - have diabetes, but only two thirds of these have been diagnosed.
Nutrition 21's 12 month figures for fiscal 2004 showed a fall in net sales from $10.3 million in 2003 to $9.9 million, operating loss was slashed from $11.1 (or -$0.32 per diluted share) to $5.9 million (-$0.16 per diluted share).
On releasing the fiscal 2004 results, Montgomery cited the Nutrition Business Journal's report that chromium enjoyed 26 percent growth in calendar year 2003, the highest growth rate of all minerals in the vitamin and supplement category.