After reviewing the safety and efficacy of chromium picolinate, Health Canada issued a revised monograph which now allows companies access to an expedited licensing process taking less than 60 days.
Nutrition 21, which sought the approval of the weight loss ingredient, said the Health Canada decision opens up significant market opportunities.
The Chromax brand of chromium picolinate is the flagship ingredient at Nutrition 21, a nutritional bioscience company that also sells selenium, zinc, and manganese ingredients.
Bill Levi, VP of Nutrition 21, told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the Canadian approval paves the way for the exportation of existing US products and for new product development.
Levi said that gaining approval from Health Canada is a milestone in the company growth strategy of expanding in international markets.
In pursuit of that goal, approval from Health Canada is the second major regulatory victory in recent times.
In December last year, the European market was opened up when the EU gave chromium picolinate the regulatory seal of approval. Following that decision Nutrition 21 distributor Ingredia Nutritionals now sells Chromax chromium picolinate on the EU market.
Although Nutrition 21 has successfully opened up the EU and Canadian markets, it only has approval to sell chromium picolinate as an ingredient for supplements in these markets.
Unlike the US, where it is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in foods and supplements, chromium picolinate can not be used as a functional food ingredient in the EU and Canada. Levi did not reveal whether Nutrition 21 is pursing EU or Canadian approval for chromium picolinate as a food ingredient.
Chromium picolinate, which was originally developed by the USDA, is sold by Nutrition 21 as an ingredient in weight loss and sports nutrition products. The company claims that its Chromax brand is the only form of chromium picolinate supported by a substantial body of pharmaceutical quality research.
Academic research on the benefits of chromium picolinate relate to its potential for heart health, diabetes, and brain health.