CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Imagine a world where organic vitamins and dietary supplements prevented the use of engineered medication. Where patients could naturally treat medical problems without adhering to the many various side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. This is a notion that could appeal to the millions of Americans dealing with the defects of routine prescription drug consumption.
Natural compounds such as pterostilbene and resveratrol have been tested to assist in treating ailing conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Chromadex is a natural product company that examines these organic compounds in order to discover any medical use for them. Once they do, they create a patent on how to manufacture the compound with obtaining the rights of both the health claims and the patent itself. These ingredients are sold under the dietary supplement category through retail and other traditional marketing outlets.
The 13-year old company has already tested thousands of products, creating over a dozen patents marketed across the world. Its most recent branded patent, pTeroPure derives from pterostilbene, an organic antioxidant compound found in blueberries. So far, pTeroPure has shown breakthrough potential for Chromadex. A clinical study conducted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center indicates that its primary ingredient, pterostilbene significantly reduces blood pressure in adults, without posing any side effects.
University of Mississippi Medical Center PharmD Cardiometabolic Clinic Coordinator Dr. Daniel Riche reported that the 8 week study of the organic compound presented no significant safety concerns from the 80 people tested in the trial. In addition to safety, the study tested the effects of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Although the results on cholesterol were neutral, Riche mentioned that its effect on the 55 percent of subjects suffering from high blood pressure, displayed mercury point reductions by up to 7 percent.
"We put it into patients who would be considered to have elevated cholesterol levels and and regular blood pressure levels. Although we did not put it with patients with elevated blood pressure, it still reduced blood pressure. So of course the next step is to put it into patients who have elevated blood pressure on multiple medications," said Riche.
Resveratrol is another organic compound which originates from the skin of grapes. The natural compound is used to make red wine, an ingredient well renowned for its health effects. Like pterostilbene, resveratrol is acclaimed for reducing blood pressure. However new research questions how impactful the organic compound really is with decreasing blood pressure. This is due in large part to its short life span in the human blood system.
However studies show that pterostilbene circulates through the blood system much longer. According to Chromadex, studies indicate that pterostilbene's life span extends up to two hours, compared to the 11-14 minutes of resveratrol. This provides a longer opportunity for the natural compound to take its course to inside the body.
"(Resveratrol) is not ineffective because it doesn't work, its ineffective because in humans it just happens to metabolize very rapidly, said Frank Jaksch, CEO of Chromadex. It metabolizes in the liver so quickly, that it's not around long enough to be utilized by the body."
Although resveratrol contains more antioxidants than pterostilbene, the extra amount of antioxidants actually works against the body. The liver works at a more accelerated pace to remove these antioxidants because it detects the added elements in which the body did not produce. In fact, the liver operates so quickly to waste the excessive antioxidants that it fails to circulate around the body in time.
"That's why pterostilbene is sort of an upgrade from resveratrol, said Dr. Jeremy Bartos, Senior Innovation Scientist for Customized Solutions. This is possible because it's able to get where it needs to go in the body in order to do what you are actually taking it for."
Beta Blockers is a drug well-recognized for treating high blood pressure. This medication works to block certain areas of the cell in various organs called beta receptors. This action causes stress hormones to be less formidable and for receptors to maintain better control on heart beat rate and blood pressure circulation.
Despite high levels of productivity with lowering blood pressure, taking beta blockers can decline good cholesterol levels, which can then increase chances of a heart attack. In rare cases, other side effects include memory loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sore throat. Riche believes that the blood pressure findings of pterostilbene are promising because the compound fails to present any side effects. However, he thinks more research can answer further questions about the potential of pterostilbene .
"Ultimately I feel it is a promising product in cardiometabolics, but it needs further evaluation and further looking into," said Riche.
Chromadex has high hopes for other product brands expected to launch within the next year. These brands include the anthocyanin-based ProC3G and the niacin-rooted Nicotinamide Riboside. Although natural, heavy users of niacin can suffer from flushing, a side effect which causes hot itch skin irritation. Nicotinamide Riboside is a metabolite of niacin which according to Jaksch, negates the side effect.
"The flush effect is a big deal because if you take a reasonable dosage, it will make you feel uncomfortable. There is no flush effect with this metabolite that we have. Not only does it fix that, but it is also a more powerful version of the compound that should be more effective than niacin," said Jaksch.
While some will question whether it is possible for predominantly organic products to have more potency than prescription drugs without the side effects, Jaksch is set on using science to back the claims of his products.
"When most people talk about dietary supplements or vitamins sometimes, there's usually a high level of skepticism around these types of products. The general perception is that there isn't much science underlying each of these things. Because of this, we are trying to build a body of evidence which is much larger than expected.
Dr. Nalini Rajamannan of Sacred Heart Cardiology, Chicago IL, notes that Chromadex offers a very important aspect in the field of approaching hypertension and hyperlipidemia in patients who are at risk or who have these disease processes.
"Basic science and future clinical trials in treating patients will provide critical information for these products to try and slow the progression of heart disease," said Rajamannan."
SOURCE: Rob Amaefule's Office
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