Optimal management of blood glucose (blood sugar) following feeding is of importance for all individuals. This includes those individuals reporting to a clinic with elevated fasting blood glucose levels (e.g., pre-diabetics and diabetics), as well as athletes looking to optimize glucose disposal into skeletal muscle. While the former population seeks to regulate blood glucose for the purpose of disease management (i.e., mitigation of health problems and premature death), the latter population primarily seeks enhanced energy utilization and glycogen resynthesis during and following strenuous exercise. (Note: Glycogen is a storage form of carbohydrate and is widely used as an energy source during physical activity, in particular of moderate to high intensity—e.g., moderate to high intensity resistance and aerobic exercise).
While the combination of regular physical activity/exercise and well-managed dietary intake should indeed be the first consideration in optimal blood glucose control, adjuncts to these two therapies have been used with success. Specifically, oral hypoglycemic agents, including both pharmacologic (i.e., prescription drugs) and non-pharmacologic (i.e., dietary supplements), are commonly prescribed/recommended and used by individuals worldwide. In relation to the latter, a wide array of dietary supplements are available for the supposed regulation of fasting and postprandial (post-meal intake) blood glucose elevations. The majority of these products target the overweight, pre-diabetic/diabetic market, citing the claim of “supporting healthy blood sugar levels”. While there do exist certain ingredients that have been reported in the scientific literature to have significant effects on blood glucose lowering (primarily in animals, with fewer data being derived directly from human subjects), one main problem remains; many dietary supplements contain such small amounts of the “active” efficacious ingredients, they most likely provide little, if any, benefit to the user. (Note: For more information pertaining to this topic of inferior dosages used within dietary supplements, see the Purus Labs White Paper for “Muscle Marinade”).
Aside from the above issues (primarily enhancing glycogen synthesis), very few products currently focus on blood glucose disposal/management in athletes. This is surprising considering most athletes consume a high carbohydrate meal soon after the completion of their exercise training sessions with the goal of replacing depleted carbohydrate lost during the exercise session (i.e., skeletal muscle glycogen). While most young and healthy athletes have excellent glucose regulatory systems in place due to their training status and fitness level, it is possible that athletes consuming high carbohydrate meals may benefit from additional support in the form of novel glucose disposal agents. This is particularly true if the meals are comprised of simple, high glycemic carbohydrates, as is common for many post workout meals (whole food or meal replacement drinks).
This paper provides a brief overview of the process of glucose regulation and introduces a new dietary supplement focused on enhanced blood glucose uptake and nutrient delivery into muscle tissue. This product called SLINshot, developed and marketed by Purus Labs, may aid both athletes and non-athletes seeking enhanced blood glucose uptake via use of a natural, non-pharmacologic dietary supplement.
Although a significant body of evidence is not yet available pertaining to these findings in human subjects, use of SLINshot may lead to heightened blood glucose clearance post feeding (possibly promoting greater muscle glycogen storage), in addition to enhanced nutrient uptake into tissue (e.g., creatine). Data in support of these statements are presented later in this paper.
POST Workout Dietary Supplements and High Carbohydrate meals
Dietary Supplements (Meal Replacement Drinks and Bars)
The use of dietary supplements among the general population is rampant. This is certainly no different among athletes, who routinely use dietary supplements (an estimated 90% of all athletes) of one form or another (Erdman et al., 2007; Froiland et al., 2004). With regards to the athlete, one class of dietary supplement that receives a great deal of attention is the post workout drink or bar. These supplements (typically a powder mix, a “ready-to-drink” pre-mixed shake, or a meal replacement bar) serve the dual purpose of favorably impacting post exercise protein turnover and enhancing glycogen replacement in skeletal muscle. To achieve these goals, most products contain a combination of protein and carbohydrate of varying quantities, ratios, forms, etc.; these factors are dictated by the type of athlete and their overall objective pertaining to the post exercise meal (e.g., protein synthesis vs. glycogen synthesis). In general, most strength training athletes (e.g., bodybuilders) favor higher protein and lower carbohydrate ratios in the post workout drink, whereas most endurance trained athletes favor higher carbohydrate and lower protein ratios. Of course, this may differ based on individual tolerance to intake as well as overall goals. For example, many bodybuilders desire enhanced glycogen resynthesis as well as protein synthesis, because increased glycogen storage is often associated with a greater “muscle pump” and increased “muscle fullness”. Likewise, many endurance athletes need additional protein along with their carbohydrate due to experiencing substantial protein breakdown and muscle damage from the excessive strain placed on both muscle and enzymatic systems during high volume training.
In regards to glucose disposal from the bloodstream into target tissue, and the subsequent storage of glucose as glycogen, it should be understood that insulin assists in activating this process. Specifically, insulin is secreted from the pancreatic beta cells in response to a post-feeding rise in blood glucose. Insulin then binds the insulin receptor and promotes a cascade of “signaling” events that ultimately allows for the “translocation” of glucose-4 transport protein (GLUT4) from an intracellular site to the cell surface. It is GLUT4 that is chiefly involved in glucose uptake into tissue when in the fed state (e.g., post exercise feeding). This increase in circulating insulin is often a goal of most post workout products. Hence, many products contain high glycemic carbohydrate sources that act to rapidly raise blood sugar and illicit an insulin spike. While most well-trained athletes tolerate such high intake of carbohydrate post exercise (due to a heightened state of insulin sensitivity observed post exercise as well as the increase in GLUT4 activity—topics discussed in a later section within this paper), some athletes may need additional support in terms of aiding glucose delivery into muscle tissue or simply want to amplify this process for enhanced recovery, improved athletic performance (as related to the enhanced glycogen storage), and possibly “nutrient partitioning” (assuming glucose is shuttled into skeletal muscle tissue in favor of adipose tissue—a topic often discussed within the bodybuilding literature but requiring confirmation through scientific study).
Aside from the post workout meal in athletes, many individuals (athletes and non-athletes) consuming large, simple, refined, or high glycemic carbohydrate meals may benefit from dietary support in the form of a glucose regulatory agent. While dietary supplement manufacturers and the mainstream media simply focus on lethargy, impaired focus, and potential body fat gain as the negative effects of acute elevations in blood glucose, detailed scientific study indicates that such acute elevations in blood glucose (particularly if not lowered within the clinically expected timeframe—see info below on the oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT]) may be harmful to overall health. Specifically, spikes in blood glucose noted as “postprandial hyperglycemia” may be associated with an increase in free radical production which can cause harm to cellular components such as lipids, proteins, and DNA (Note: This is particularly true in those with impaired glucose tolerance). While this discussion is far beyond the scope of this paper, the reader is referred to the following reviews on this topic (Fisher-Wellman and Bloomer, 2009; Tucker et al., 2008). The bottom line is, certain individuals can indeed tolerate a high carbohydrate load, transport the available glucose from the bloodstream into skeletal muscle, and not present any significant elevation in oxidized biomolecules in the process. In such a case (which is very likely the scenario for some), individuals may not need additional dietary support in the form of a glucose uptake-enhancing agent; however, some individuals are not so fortunate. While the ideal solution is to begin/continue with a program of structured and strenuous exercise coupled with a nutrient balanced diet aimed at blood glucose control (consisting of low glycemic, fiber-rich carbohydrate and complete protein sources), the simple reality is most people will not follow such recommendations. This includes many athletes. Therefore, dietary support in the form of an agent that enhances glucose uptake from the bloodstream into target tissue may be beneficial.
Adjuncts to Post Workout Dietary Supplements and Ancillary Uses of such Agents
As alluded to above, aside from the commonly marketed “protein and carbohydrate” mixes currently available, multiple adjuncts to this post workout mix are heavily marketed. These often include agents that supposedly stimulate protein synthesis and attenuate protein degradation via mechanisms ranging from hormone manipulation to stimulation of satellite cell proliferation. One additional class of dietary supplement not heavily marketed, but that PURUS LABS believes has significant potential as a post workout dietary supplement aid (in particular when consumed with a high glycemic carbohydrate) is that of glucose disposal/regulatory agents. These agents not only have utility in terms of post exercise dietary support, but also for daily dietary support to assist in the management of healthy blood glucose levels and nutrient partitioning (disposal of glucose into skeletal muscle rather than adipose tissue). This applies to both athletes and non-athletes alike. Although athletes may primarily use such an agent for the purpose of stimulating enhanced glycogen resynthesis following an acute exercise session, both athletes and non-athletes may use such an agent for purposes of controlling postprandial blood glucose at times unrelated to acute exercise. In this regard, regulating blood glucose may help to improve overall health and well-being (e.g., reduce the potential harmful effects of free radicals, improve energy and mood, reduce excess body fat accumulation, etc.). While mentioned briefly above, the following section provides more details related to the mechanism of action of such a glucose disposal/regulatory agent, as well as the application for use.
Glucose Disposal Agents
Data published in 2005 by the American Diabetes Association indicated that within the United States alone nearly 21 million individuals, or about 7% of the population, have diabetes while another 54 million Americans have pre-diabetes (ADA, 2005). This number increased to 23.6 million (7.8% of the population) diagnosed with diabetes and 57 million Americans diagnosed with pre-diabetes in 2007 (ADA website data; www.diabetes.org). The overall prevalence of both conditions is likely higher today in 2010, with more and more individuals being diagnosed with obesity, a co-morbid condition that has a strong association with type II diabetes (the most prevalent form of diabetes, accounting for approximately 95% of all diagnosed cases). Also important to note, there are an estimated 6 million undiagnosed individuals within the United States (ADA website data; www.diabetes.org). Clearly, a need exists to aid millions of individuals with blood glucose management. (Note: It should be understood that a diagnosis of pre-diabetes does not necessarily indicate the future diagnosis of diabetes; however, the incident rate is certainly higher).
Diabetes is a complex disease accompanied by both microvascular (e.g., neuropathy) and macrovascular (e.g., atherosclerosis) complications. These changes often lead to a significant loss in physical function (e.g., loss of eye site, amputations) in addition to nonfatal or fatal outcomes (e.g., stroke, heart attack). Therefore, attempts to control blood glucose through exercise, dietary intake, pharmacologic agents, and nutritional supplements should be of utmost importance for all with this condition. It should be understood that unlike many other chronic diseases, diabetes absolutely can be controlled through appropriate changes in lifestyle (dietary modification and physical exercise in particular). Individuals not seeking to modify lifestyle components in an attempt to control their blood glucose are doing themselves a great disservice.
Outside of the specific problems associated with poor blood glucose control, diabetes is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The link between the two disease states appears to be the production of free radical species (sometimes referred to as Reactive Oxygen Species [ROS]) and the ensuing condition known as oxidative stress (Baynes and Thorpe, 1999; Ceriello, 2005; Evans et al., 2002). As mentioned briefly in a previous section, free radicals can be generated with excessive hyperglycemia, often in response to acute intake of high glycemic carbohydrate meals. Oxidative stress occurs when the production of free radicals exceeds the body’s antioxidant defense against this production (Valko et al., 2007). Individuals with poor blood glucose control are more susceptible to postprandial oxidative stress, partly due to the fact that they often experience prolonged periods of hyperglycemia following feeding (Miyazaki et al., 2007; Schindhelm et al., 2007; Serin et al., 2007). Such an elevation in blood glucose is directly linked to superoxide anion production (Bae et al., 2001), a potent radical which is known to react with other molecules causing further radical generation (Brownlee, 2005; Nishikawa et al., 2000). While this appears to be greater in pre-diabetics and diabetics compared to those with normal blood glucose levels, many individuals consuming frequent high glycemic carbohydrate meals may experience an increase in free radical production. This includes some athletes who purposefully consume such meals in an attempt to stimulate post workout glycogen resynthesis. Therefore, methods to control blood glucose following feeding may be important for all individuals.
Diabetes is most commonly diagnosed using either a fasting blood glucose test or an OGTT. A fasting glucose test involves only a single blood sample analysis with a normal value falling below 100mg·dL-1. A value between 100 and 125mg·dL-1 is indicative of “pre-diabetes” while a value =126mg·dL-1 is indicative of diabetes. An OGTT usually involves ingestion of a carbohydrate drink (dextrose) at a dosage of 75 grams (300 kilocalories). Blood samples are typically taken before and at 30 minute intervals for 2-3 hours following consumption. Blood glucose should rise after consumption and then lower towards the pre-intake value. The two hour post consumption time is typically viewed as the diagnostic measure. A normal blood glucose value at this time should be
Agents, Mechanisms of Action, and Effects
With the above understanding, several pharmacologic and non-phamacologic agents are available to aid in blood glucose clearance following feeding. While a detailed discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of this paper, it should be noted that common oral hypoglycemic agents such as Glucophage (generic: Metformin) are widely prescribed to diabetic patients and often used with success. Other non-pharmacologic agents have been studied in both animals and human subjects and used for years within Ayurvedic medicine. While scientific animal data are moderate to strong for some agents and anecdotal reports in humans are favorable for certain agents, few scientific data are available to support the use of glucose uptake-enhancing agents in human subjects. However, due to the increased need for and interest in natural, non-pharmacologic varieties of glucose disposal agents for both non-athletes and athletes, more research is now being done in this area of investigation.
The potential mechanisms of action of such agents can be multiple, including enhanced insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cells, improved insulin-insulin receptor binding, enhanced post-receptor signaling, and superior GLUT4 translocation (movement) to the cell surface to allow for blood glucose to be taken into the cell (Interested readers are referred to the following article pertaining to this very complex process [Muoio and Newgard, 2008]). As stated earlier, it is important to remember that regular exercise training may be the single most important activity an individual can perform to facilitate an overall improvement in the above processes. This is because exercise (or more precisely, skeletal muscle contraction) promotes glucose uptake into cells in an insulin-independent manner (Merry and McConell, 2009). This is well-documented in numerous scientific investigations involving both animals and human subjects. Beyond exercise, optimal dietary intake and glucose regulatory agents may be components of non-pharmacologic treatments targeted at blood glucose control and enhanced glucose uptake into muscle tissue.
In terms of the overall effectiveness of these agents, many have been tested using the outcome measures of fasting blood glucose and OGTT, with evidence of effect coming from both animal and human studies. In these regards, drugs such as Glucophage (generic: Metformin) often result in a decrease in fasting blood glucose and OGTT values following chronic use, as well as a more rapid return of blood glucose towards pre-intake values when administered in a single dosage prior to an OGTT (e.g., lower area under the insulin and glucose curves). For example, in human trials in which subjects were administered Metformin for a period of several weeks, a decrease in the glucose area under the curve of 20-30% has been noted (Carlsen et al., 1998). Similar findings have been observed in animal models using a wide variety of herbal, non-pharmacologic agents.
Due to the multiple studies performed using both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic agents, no attempt is made here to review such studies. This area of investigation continues to expand and several candidate agents for blood glucose control may eventually be discovered and marketed to both healthy athletes and non-athletes for purposes of blood glucose disposal. This may have the dual focus of enhancing glycogen resynthesis following strenuous exercise as well as simply controlling blood glucose for overall health purposes. PURUS LABS has been following this area of research closely and believes the strongest candidate at the present time for consideration as a non-pharmacologic agent to enhance glucose and nutrient uptake into skeletal muscle is Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora. This is underscored by a recent article published based on work performed at the Botanical Research Center suggesting that a novel extract of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora is a chief candidate of interest as a glucose disposal agent, as it may manifest a genotype-specific insulin-sensitizing phenotype (Zuberi, 2008). This product manufactured by PURUS LABS is called SLINshot and contains Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora as the exclusive ingredient, provided at the same per serving dosage believed to be effective in facilitating glucose (and creatine) clearance from the bloodstream, with the potential of increasing uptake into skeletal muscle (see section below for more information).
Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. Inodora
Description, Mechanism of Action, and Evidence for Effect
The ingredient known as Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora has been used for centuries in Russia and middle Asia as a digestive, diuretic and antipyretic herbal medicinal drug. Today, Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora is classified as a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) material after removal of the harmful components of the essential oil (e.g., Estragol and Methyleugenol). This ingredient is widely studied for its blood glucose lowering effects, earning its position as a target candidate ingredient to be used in the treatment of metabolic syndrome (Cefalu et al., 2008a). Novel ethanol and aqueous extracts have been developed and these have shown promise with regards to blood glucose regulation (Ribnicky et al., 2006) and nutrient (i.e., creatine) transport (Jäger et al., 2008). Collectively, the clinical effects of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora on carbohydrate metabolism may be secondary to enhancing insulin post receptor signaling (Wang et al., 2008). The polyphenolic compounds 6-demethoxycapillarisin and 2',4'-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone are believed to be responsible for much of the glucose-lowering activity of the Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora (Govorko et al., 2007).
In a comparison study conducted using genetically diabetic KK-A(gamma) mice, an alcoholic extract of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora was reported to lower elevated blood glucose levels by 24%, while treatment with the antidiabetic drugs Troglitazone and Metformin (Glucophage) decreased blood glucose concentrations by 28% and 41%, respectively. Blood insulin concentrations were also reduced in the KK-A(gamma) mice by 33% with the Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora extract, 48% with Troglitazone, and 52% with Metformin (Ribnicky et al., 2006). Based on these data, there appears extraordinary potential for Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora as a natural agent involved in glucose clearance. This is particularly true if this agent is delivered along with a bioenhancer/solubilizer (Labrosol), as reported recently by Ribnicky and coworkers (2009).
Although the majority of studies involving Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora have focused on aspects of blood glucose regulation, one interesting study having direct application to athletes involves co-ingestion of the dietary supplement creatine monohydrate. Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic compound produced in relatively small amounts in the human body from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. Supplemental creatine likely represents the most widely used and studied sport supplement of all time, with the possible exceptions of caffeine and carbohydrate. Once creatine enters muscle tissue, it aids in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) resynthesis and can lead to high intensity exercise performance improvements. Although supplemental creatine is well-absorbed by many individuals, others are “non-responders” and may benefit from co-ingestion of a high carbohydrate feeding along with the creatine (Green et al., 1996). In this way, the carbohydrate stimulates an insulin response which is thought to activate creatine transporters to help facilitate creatine uptake into tissue. The concern here is that many athletes 1) do not use excess simple carbohydrate routinely during the day (e.g., pre-contest bodybuilders) or 2) do not want to consume an additional high glycemic carbohydrate meal outside of their post workout meal. Because many athletes ingest creatine more than one time per day, other methods of enhancing creatine uptake into muscle aside from carbohydrate ingestion are desired.
It has been reported that a dosage of 1000mg of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora ingested 15 minutes prior to ingestion of the creatine monohydrate (at a dosage of 60mg/kg body mass) resulted in a significant reduction of plasma creatine levels at 60, 90 and 120 minutes following ingestion (Jäger et al., 2008; see Figure 1 for a graphical depiction of these findings). The investigators suggested that the effect of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora is seen as comparable to that of glucose, a macronutrient that has been used in prior studies in an effort to stimulate creatine uptake into skeletal muscle (Green et al., 1996). While it is thought that the increased creatine clearance from the plasma reflects enhanced uptake into skeletal muscle, this was not determined in the study by Jäger and colleagues (2008). Therefore, admittedly, this is merely a hypothesis at the present time and needs confirmation through additional research. In a similar manner, although speculative at the present time, as with creatine, it is possible that the use of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora might yield a similar effect on nutrient transport for other ingredients such as amino acids.
It is possible that the effect of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora on creatine clearance is mediated by the insulinogenic action, in a similar manner as carbohydrate ingestion elevates insulin and allows for enhanced creatine uptake into skeletal muscle. Considering this, coupled with the fact that some individuals would prefer not to ingest high glycemic carbohydrates in order to facilitate hyperinsulinemia and subsequent creatine uptake, use of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora appears logical. This effect on creatine clearance, coupled with the blood glucose lowering effect, is the dual rationale for selecting Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora as the exclusive ingredient to be used within PURUS LABS SLINshot.
Figure 1. The effects of a single dose (1000mg) of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora on plasma creatine clearance.
Note: Average plasma creatine concentration following intake of creatine monohydrate (60 mg/kg body weight), preceded 15 minutes earlier by ingestion of 1000mg Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora (ADL), the equivalent of one serving of PURUS LABS SLINshot. Subjects were 11 young, healthy men.
Figure reproduced using data presented from Jäger et al. JISSN 2008, 5(Suppl 1):P4
Ethanol vs. Aqueous Extracts
Although several papers focused on Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora have been published using the ethanol extract of this ingredient, an aqueous extract has recently been developed and reported to provide even greater effects on glucose lowering (Walbroel et al., 2009). In this work, an OGGT was administered in a group of rats following oral ingestion of an aqueous or ethanol extract of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora (at a dosage of only 6mg·kg-1). The diabetic drug Glibenclamide was used for comparison (at a dosage of 18mg·kg-1). The glucose area under the curve was similar but slightly lower for the aqueous extract as compared to both the ethanol extract and Glibenclamide. An additional experiment using dosages ranging from 1.5 to 60mg·kg-1 indicated that while the blood glucose peak was not as pronounced (approximately 200mg·dL-1 vs. 240mg·dL-1) and occurred at a later time following a 30 and 60mg·kg-1 dosage (30 minutes vs. 15 minutes post OGTT) compared to a 1.5 and 6mg·kg-1 dosage, the glucose area under the curve was similar. These data indicate that a dosage of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora as low as 1.5mg·kg-1 may actually be effective at lowering blood glucose following an OGTT. While such findings are exciting to note, it is important to remember that these data are from animals and not humans; therefore, results may not be directly transferred. However, the text below describes some initial case study data obtained from human subjects using Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora in an attempt to aid in glucose disposal following an OGTT.
Introducing SLINshot Overview And Rationale For Use
Before we begin the discussion of PURUS LABS SLINshot it is important to understand that while other ingredients targeting glucose regulation appear promising in their own right, PURUS LABS has made the careful decision to use Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora exclusively within SLINshot. The reason for this decision is threefold. First, Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora has been used in several studies to date with results that all essentially parallel each other; that is, the studies support one another rather than refute each other. This is often not the case when studying nutritional ingredients. Second, when designing a dietary supplement PURUS LABS believes that not only do the appropriate ingredients need to be included within the product, but the correct and efficacious dosage of ingredient needs to be included. Each single serving of SLINshot contains 1000mg of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora. If several ingredients were to be included within SLINshot simply to compete with other companies attempting to fill the label with ingredients, the dosage of each ingredient would need to be significantly lower than the believed effective dosage. This makes little scientific sense and is not something PURUS LABS will ever do. Alternatively, if all (or many) of the ingredients that appear to have some promise in terms of glucose regulation were included at the believed effective dosage, consumers would need to consume 10-12 capsules per serving rather than 2 capsules, and the per unit cost of the product would be 5-6 times higher. Again, when considering the potential benefit of doing this based on the currently available evidence for effect, it simply does not make sense. PURUS LABS believes the exclusive use of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora within SLINshot will provide consumers with a scientifically sound, effective product at a reasonable intake level and cost. This dietary supplement may serve the dual purpose to allow for enhanced glucose and creatine uptake into tissue. Third, PURUS LABS has personally experimented with Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora (aqueous extract) and has observed the effects of this ingredient first hand. Of course, further well-controlled research is necessary to provide confirmation for the proposed effects in human subjects.
Preliminary Human Subject Findings
As mentioned earlier in the paper, the majority of work involving Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora has been conducted in animals. While findings from animals can often be interesting and sometimes translate to humans, this is not always the case. This is especially true considering the route of administration in many animal studies is not oral (like that for human dietary supplements), and the dosage of ingredient used in many animal studies is often far greater than most humans will want to consume or could afford to use. Fortunately, Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora has been delivered to animals via oral ingestion and at a dosage that is actually manageable in terms of translation to human daily ingested amounts. Moreover, Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora has been previously used by humans at an oral dosage of 1000mg, with favorable effects noted for creatine clearance from plasma (Jäger et al., 2008).
Considering the work of Jäger and colleagues (2008) using Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora to enhance creatine clearance from plasma, the effects of both 1000mg (equivalent to 1 serving of SLINshot) and 2000mg (equivalent to 2 servings of SLINshot) of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora on blood glucose following an OGTT has been studied using a case analysis in an effort to generate pilot data to guide future research studies (unpublished data). The text below describes this work.
The Experiments Described
For data collected from experiments described here please refer to Table 1 and Figure 2. Two adult resistance trained men (Subject X: 225 pounds, 10% body fat; Subject Y: 180 pounds, 7% body fat) performed two OGTTs with and without experimental research grade SLINshot. Subject X used 1000mg (1 serving) of SLINshot and subject Y used 2000mg (2 servings) of SLINshot. The SLINshot was ingested 15 minutes prior to consuming 75 grams of dextrose solution (300 calories). This is standard procedure for a clinically administered OGTT. Blood samples were collected from subjects before ingesting the SLINshot (after a 10 minute quiet rest period) and at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes following ingestion of the dextrose solution. (Note: As opposed to a blood collection every 30 minutes and a duration of collection of 2-3 hours, often employed for an OGTT administered in a clinical setting, it was decided to obtain more frequent blood samples but to cease measurements at one hour post ingestion. This decision was based on prior work involving young, healthy subjects performing an OGTT—for which blood glucose more quickly returns to pre-meal values as compared to individuals with impaired glucose tolerance). During the 60 minute post ingestion period subjects remained relaxed and ingested no additional food or calorie containing beverages. Following blood sample collection, glucose was analyzed in serum using standard enzymatic procedures. Assays were performed in triplicate.
Table 1 provides values for each time point of sample collection for both placebo and SLINshot trials. The area under the curve (AUC) is also presented which uses a mathematical model to represent the “sum” over the course of the one hour post ingestion period. Percent difference values between placebo and SLINshot trials are included for each time point as well as for AUC. Figure 2 provides a graphical representation of the data. As can be seen, oral intake of SLINshot provides for blood glucose disposal effects in healthy men averaging 20.5%.
Table 1 and Figure 2. Effect of PURUS LABS SLINshot on blood glucose concentration following an OGTT.
Pertaining to the above, while only two subjects were used in this case study analysis, it cannot be concluded that all individuals will respond in the same manner. Clearly, additional research using a sample of 10-20 individuals is needed to provide further support for these initial findings. This is true for all herbal forms of glucose regulatory agents recommended for use in human subjects (Cefalu et al., 2008b). However, when collectively considering the evidence from both animals and humans (in relation to both glucose and creatine clearance), the results are indeed noteworthy.
It should be understood, as with all dietary supplements, individual results to treatment may vary. Therefore, individuals may require more or less than 1 serving of SLINshot in order to achieve the desired result (i.e., glucose or creatine clearance). Keep in mind that in much of the work related to Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora, test subjects/animals consumed 75 grams of research grade dextrose (a simple sugar), or the equivalent. Individuals not consuming such high amounts of carbohydrate (in particular simple sugar) may not require as much SLINshot in order to optimally manage blood glucose levels (or may not require any glucose disposal agent at all). However, SLINshot was developed with the idea that athletes would use this supplement along with their post-exercise carbohydrate meal which typically contains a significant amount of carbohydrate (often in the form of simple sugars). In this situation, it is recommended that SLINshot be used at 1000-2000mg (1-2 servings) depending on age, glucose tolerance, and overall health status. For example, subjects X and Y experienced similar effects of SLINshot despite two different dosages being used. As with all dietary supplements, experimentation by each individual is suggested. This applies to both athletes and non-athletes and should be considered relative to meals associated with exercise bouts as well as those outside of the context of acute exercise.
Conclusions and Practical Applications
Management of blood glucose following feeding is of importance for athletes and non-athletes. In relation to the former group, it is possible that post exercise feedings that contain high amounts of carbohydrate for purposes of glycogen replenishment may better be taken up into tissue via dietary support in the form of SLINshot (Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora). Moreover, this ingredient may facilitate uptake of other nutrients commonly used by athletes (e.g., creatine). Collectively, the product SLINshot from PURUS LABS may be used as an adjunct to an already well-designed exercise and nutrition plan targeting optimal blood glucose regulation and/or glycogen supercompensation. Daily use of this product in conjunction with high carbohydrate meals, either post workout or at other times of the day as needed, may aid in heightened glucose clearance from the blood and uptake into tissue. This may not only improve glycogen replenishment in athletes seeking this outcome but may also maintain overall health as related to optimal blood glucose management (e.g., reduce the potential harmful effects of free radicals, improve energy and mood, reduce excess body fat accumulation, etc).
As with all nutritional supplements, potential users should consult their personal physician prior to using SLINshot. This especially applies to those individuals with known problems related to blood glucose regulation. In addition, potential users should review the product nutrition panel and label for information regarding the ingredient, dosing, and precautions for use.