Purus Labs SLINshot - Insulin Sensitizer
Purus Labs SLINshot™ represents a truly novel product stemming from an exciting field of research amongst dietary supplements involving blood glucose disposal and nutrient uptake into skeletal muscle. This product has applications far reaching, from aiding the combined 80.6 million people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes and pre-diabetes (ADA www.diabetes.org) with blood sugar control to increasing athletic performance/recovery through enhanced nutrient uptake and potential glycogen (the stored form of glucose widely used as an energy source during moderate to high intensity exercise) storage. We will, for now, focus on SLINshot™ as it pertains to the athlete.
BACKGROUNDIt is widely accepted and practiced within the athletic community to consume a liquid nutrient supplement immediately postworkout. This beverage is typically comprised of a large dose of high glycemic carbohydrate, a moderate amount of protein, and additional amino acids such as creatine. There is a plethora of available scientific research supporting this practice as it relates to enhanced exercise recovery through increasing glycogen resysnthesis and increasing protein synthesis. The main goal of this beverage is to immediately spike circulating insulin levels in order to rapidly replenishing glycogen stores and drive nutrients into muscle tissue initiating anabolism through protein synthesis. It should be understood that insulin plays a major role in activating the aforementioned process. Specifically, insulin is secreted from the pancreatic beta cells in response to a postprandial (after meal) 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). While most well-trained athletes tolerate such high intake of carbohydrate post exercise due to a heightened state of insulin sensitivity observed post exercise along with an increase in GLUT4 activity, some athletes may want to amplify these processes by using SLINshot™.
Benefits Include:* Increased nutrient absorption and utilization within muscle tissue
* Enhanced energy utilization and glycogen resynthesis
* Improved carbohydrate metabolism
* Enhanced post receptor insulin signaling
* Faster recovery from strenuous exercise
* Diminished free radical production
* Nutrient partitioning
Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodoraDescription, 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 ethanolic and aqueous extracts, such as the material used in SLINshot™, have been developed and 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).
Creatine UptakeAlthough the majority of studies involving Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora have focused on aspects surrounding blood glucose regulation, one interesting study having direct application to athletes involves co-ingestion of the dietary supplement creatine monohydrate, possibly the most widely used and studied sport supplement of all time. 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. Purus Labs’ concern here is that many athletes 1) do not use excess simple carbohydrate routinely during the day, 2) do not want to consume an additional high glycemic carbohydrate meal outside of their post workout meal 3) are on a calorie restricted diet not allowing excess macronutrients merely for enhanced absorption. Because many athletes ingest creatine multiple times 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 (1 serving of SLINshot™) ingested 15 minutes prior to ingestion of the creatine monohydrate resulted in a significant reduction of plasma creatine levels (suggesting increased skeletal muscle uptake) 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 used in prior studies successfully stimulating creatine uptake into skeletal muscle (Green et al., 1996). It is possible that the effect of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora on creatine clearance is mediated by insulinogenic action, similar to carbohydrate ingestion elevating insulin and allowing for enhanced creatine uptake into skeletal muscle but without the extra calories! 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 a hypothesis at the present time (although firmly grounded and shared by many) and needs confirmation through additional research. In a similar manner, as with creatine, it is highly possible that the use of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora might yield a similar effect on nutrient transport for other ingredients such as other amino acids.
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 ExtractsAlthough 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 acknowledged 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 significantly and successfully aiding in glucose disposal following an OGTT.
Preliminary Human Subject FindingsAs mentioned earlier, the majority of work involving Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. inodora has been conducted in animals. 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, Purus Labs sought to obtain data on 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 using a case analysis in an effort to generate pilot data to guide future research studies (unpublished data). The text below describes this work.
For data collected from experiments described here please refer to Table 1 and Figure 2 below. 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 collection duration 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.