The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted the Montana-based supplier a patent for 'Fenugreek seed bio-active compositions and methods for extracting same' used in the manufacture of Promilin. The company said the patent would allow it "to continue to develop the market for this proprietary product promoting healthy glucose and insulin utilization." Promilin is a complex of bioactive amino acids including the amino acid derivative, 4-hydroxyisoleucine. It is marketed on its purported ability to re-synthesise glycogen, enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose management. It has been on the market since 2002. Because of these potentialities, it is used as a weight management aid as well as in sports nutrition. Fenugreek is an herb native to south eastern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia but is grown in many parts of the world. The patent "A key provision of the patent involves providing novel compositions and methods for the extraction and separation of bio-active compounds/compositions of 4-hydroxyisoleucine from fenugreek seeds," the company said. The newly patented composition can be employed either synergistically or independently with insulin to stimulate receptors located on skeletal muscles, glucose transport proteins and facilitate the transport of glucose into muscle cells. "The award of the patent is significant, covering both composition and application," said Dr Sandy Chien of TSI. "It reaffirms our commitment to investing in innovative ingredients and intellectual property with a long term vision for the market and support of our clients. This patent adds important depth to TSI's Intellectual Property portfolio and allows us to work with our clients to develop innovative, efficacious products based on Promilin and our patented technology - and it's also significant recognition of the many years we spent perfecting this technology." While the company noted Fenugreek and 4-hydroxisoleucine were "reasonably well established in this field" it said the patent would facilitate a deeper understanding of the field and "ultimately a superior product targeting this category." Promilin is most commonly used in the US supplements market. Research In vivo and in vitro 4-OH-Ile studies have demonstrated the compound is effective in selectively potentiating insulin secretion from the pancreas in response to an increase in glucose levels. This suggests Promilin may increase insulin sensitivity across a wide range of concentrations. Another study with healthy, non-diabetic individuals found Promilin reduced glucose concentrations without affecting insulin levels, indicating that it may enhance natural metabolic sensitivity. TSI specializes in botanical, marine and natural product extracts, as well as synthesized compounds such as Promilin.