“The latest AstraGin human trial indicates AstraGin not only increased the arginine absorption in the human body but indeed caused an increased production of nitric oxide (NO),” Michael Wang, cofounder and director of research at NuLiv Science, told NutraIngredients-USA. “This is significant as NO plays many critical roles in the human body.”
These roles include blood flow regulation, boosting immune system function, and increasing oxygen supply to the muscles – all important functions for improving exercise capacity.
The research, published in the journal Functional Foods in Health and Disease, was funded by Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan. California-based NuLiv Science provided the standardized AstraGin and placebo used in the study.
AstraGin and Arginine
A combination of Astragalus membranaceus (astragalus) and Panax notoginseng (ginseng), AstraGin has been shown to improve gut wall integrity, nutrient absorption and microbiota-immunity communication. To date, NuLiv Science has conducted some 16 in vitro and nine in vivo trials on the ingredient, which it brought to market nearly a decade ago.
In this most recent trial, the team of Chinese researchers set out to examine whether AstraGin (also referred to as APS) could increase NO production by increasing arginine absorption and reducing levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (AMDA) – widely recognized as an inhibitor of NO production. Arginine, a conditionally essential amino acid, is converted into citrulline and is central to NO production in the body.
“The latest AstraGin human trial confirms our previous in vitro study on arginine absorption in Caco-2 cell, in normal and colitis rat model, and in a pilot arginine study in human subjects,” said Josh Beaty, marketing director at NuLiv Science USA.
The randomized, double-blind, cross-over study recruited 30 healthy adults between the ages of 20 and 80 years and administered 5 g of arginine powder and one 50 mg capsule of AstraGin or a maldodextrin placebo twice, with a one-week wash-out period between each administration. Plasma and urine were collected, and 24 subjects (7 males and 17 female) were included for analysis after excluding six subjects due to incomplete data or large individual differences.
The researchers reported notable improvement in arginine absorption following AstraGin supplementation, with a 17.3% increase of the arginine area under the curve (AUC), a 11.1% increase of maximum concentration (Cmax), and a 167.1% improvement in the Arg/ADMA ratio, an indicator of overall cardiovascular health.
“With these findings, the addition of APS to arginine supplements could be advantageous for pre-workout and cardiovascular health,” the researchers concluded.
NuLiv Science shared that future AstraGin human trials on complete 21 amino acids absorption, sarcopenia and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are in the planning.
Source: Functional Foods in Health and Disease
“Pharmacokinetic effect of Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng saponins on arginine absorption and nitric oxide production in healthy subjects”
Authors: Lin C-P et al.