“Creatine is increasingly understood to be arguably the most important supplement people can take for overall health, and this patent adds to the mounting research underscoring its significance,” said Mark Faulkner, founder and president of Vireo Systems. “I’m excited about the transformative potential this research has on the ability to strengthen the immune system and fight viruses, as well as on other fields of health.”
Registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the patent protects the company’s creatine formulations for use in immune support therapies and products for the next 20 years.
The patent research
The patent is based on research initiated during the pandemic and includes a primary cell culture study conducted with the University of Manitoba, along with contributions to cancer studies at UCLA and Vanderbilt that yielded consistent findings related to the activation of T cells through creatine compounds. The core of the clinical research is detailed in the patent application.
In brief, Vireo Systems explained that its creatine hydrochloride (HCL) “facilitates the entry of antiviral substances into cells, strengthening the body's virus-fighting capability while minimizing inflammation caused by viral proteins”. The research also shows that creatine and similar compounds provide the body with the energy to mount a strong immune response against viral infections.
The company attributes this capability to what it claims is vastly enhanced bioavailability of its creatine HCL compared to standard creatine monohydrate. Its improved solubility and permeability resulted in 70% more absorption into the bloodstream, according to findings from a 2013 study led by Donald Miller, PhD, professor in pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of Manitoba and Vireo Systems board member.
“Other forms of creatine might potentially offer immune support if they could effectively reach the bloodstream,” Faulkner said. “However, what sets CON-CRĒT Creatine HCL apart is its remarkable ability to achieve superior absorption compared to older creatine formulations (i.e., creatine monohydrate).”
Forthcoming research will include animal testing to further demonstrate the efficacy of certain compounds against viruses and to optimize dosing and formulas by using a combination of creatine conjugations to provide better and targeted immune support.
“The future of creatine therapy for immune health will undoubtedly draw heavily from the data presented in this patent,” Faulkner added. “Additionally, we anticipate the upcoming follow-on patent, expected to be granted next year, will delve deeper into the cellular energetics influenced by creatine, enabling cells to function more effectively and maintain better overall health and resilience.”
First immune supplement with creatine
Vireo Systems, based in Nashville, TN, launched a multi-ingredient formula in 2020 as “the first immune support supplement with creatine” under newly developed product division Promera Health Immune Support, but Faulkner said that the company decided to switch gears given creatine’s potential as a novel standalone immune health ingredient.
“We swiftly redirected our focus away from Promera Health Immune Support—and to the new research —because it fell within a highly competitive market segment, and its effectiveness could be attributed to the multiple beneficial ingredients it contained.”
In addition to CON-CRĒT, the formula included immune boosters like Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, black elderberry and green tea extracts as well as Alpha-GEE, Vireo System’s patented amino acid-based peptide that supports healthy inflammation responses.
“This somewhat obscured the remarkable efficacy and significance of the creatine component within the formula,” Faulkner added. “We believe that the creatine is the primary driver behind the substantial and overarching positive impact on the immune system's Killer T Cells, and we wanted to emphasize its crucial role without dilution from other ingredients.”
Future creatine-powered immune support products will launch under the Vireo and CON-CRĒT product lines.