The company recently announced the out-of-court settlement with a South Florida dietary supplement marketer after the issuance of a cease-and-desist letter. The settlement, whose details were not disclosed, concerns Gilad & Gilad’s patents around the use of agmatine products for nerve health.
“As the discoverers of the neuroprotective properties of agmatine and the pioneers in introducing agmatine-containing products for nerve health into commerce, we are very pleased to see the increased recognition of the enormous potential of agmatine and, concomitantly, the continuously expanding use of our products," said Dr Gad Gilad, founder and CEO of the company.
Agmatine, the natural metabolite of the amino acid arginine, has previously been reported to support nerve health (Pain Medicine, 2010, Vol. 11, pp. 356-368), and the patent (#8916612, issued last year) is a “very significant and important landmark achievement for Gilad&Gilad”, said the company.
"This patent is of considerable value to our company in providing protection to our discoveries and investments. And based on recent scientific evidence, a continuation patent expanding the scope of the initial claims to additional indications is now pending," said Dr Gilad.
Neuroprotection supported; other indications aren’t
According to Dr Gilad, there is a scarcity of dietary ingredients that support healthy nerve functions. "There is an unmet need for a safe and effective supplement by millions of Americans who are coping everyday with great challenges to their nervous system health and with threats to maintaining resilient nerve functions," he said.
As to the question of other indications, Dr. Gilad said that "for now, there are no additional indications which are backed by clinical studies. That agmatine is touted for bodybuilding, is completely unsubstantiated and is backed by outright false claims.”
One of the early applications of the molecule was in the bodybuilding field. Early indications showed the molecule inhibited the enzyme that breaks down nitric oxide, a compound that has been associated with vasodilatation. More nitric oxide circulating in the blood, more blood flow, more muscle growth, or so the story went. But further research showed that the story was more complex, and that the body compensated for agmatine’s inhibition of the enzyme’s activity by pumping out extra amounts of the enzyme.
“They are using buzzwords. Nitric oxide is a buzzword,” Gilad said. "All the claims for muscle protein synthesis are completely unsubstantiated. My prediction is that the hype there will pass. But what it did do was help bringing down the price of the raw material.”
Gilad & Gilad sells under the brand name Agmaset. More recent (and robust) research elucidates agmatine’s neuroprotective functions in a variety of ways:
• Boosting neurotransmitter function
• Decreasing of pain message transmission, by preventing some mineral salts from getting into your neurons
• Inhibiting of destructive enzymes (called metalloproteases) that can kill nerves and create nerve pain
• protecting nerve cells from damaging AGEs (advanced glycation end products).