VASO6, the enigmatic NO booster from green tea
These days bodybuilders and fitness buffs who use preworkout formulas really have to do their best to buy a product without VASO6. The stuff is in a lot of PWOs that have come onto the market in the past year. If we are to believe the labels and the advertorials, VASO6 comes from green tea, and is patented. Eager to learn more about VASO6, we read the patent - and found more questions than answers.
Compound Solutions, the American company behind PeakO2 and Theacrine, launched VASO6 in 2017. [nutraingredients-usa.com, 20-Nov-2017] VASO6 is an extract of green tea leaves that dilates the blood vessels, according to the supplement industry. An interesting application to use in NO boosters.
Now that governments have become more alert to the presence of synthetic pharmacological compounds and potentially dangerous extracts of exotic plants in supplements, applications such as VASO6 are a solution for the industry: extracts from 'ordinary' plants, which have 'special' properties due to a special production or extraction process.
Or, as Matt Titlow, the CEO of Compound Solutions, put it in an interview with NutraIngredients-USA.com:
According to Compound Solutions, VASO6 is a brainchild of David Fitzpatrick, a now retired pharmacologist who was associated with University of South Florida.
Fitzpatrick conducted research into vasodilating substances in grapes and wine in the nineties of the last century [Am J Physiol. 1993 Aug;265(2 Pt 2):H774-8.], Pycnogenol [J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1998 Oct;32(4):509-15.] and especially Grape Seed Extract. [J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Dec;48(12):6384-90.] [Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:78-89.]
Fitzpatrick also looked at green tea in the mid-nineties. [J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1995 Jul;26(1):90-5.] But he found Grape Seed Extract a bit more interesting.
US Patent US 6,706,756 B1
Fitzpatrick tried to find the most active substance in Grape Seed Extract, and then stumbled on epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-gallate. He also called this substance C1-gallate. In 2002 Fitzpatrick applied for a patent on the use of epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-gallate as a cardiovascular drug. [US Patent 6,706,756 B1.]
In the patent, Fitzpatrick explains how he tracked epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-gallate when he split up Grape Seed Extract into smaller fraction by chromatographic techniques, and tested each fraction separately for its vasodilating action. Then, in fraction G6 - the most interesting of all - he identified the active substance.
However, VASO6 comes from green tea, not from Grape Seed Extract. According to Compound Solutions, that company uses the methods in the Fitzpatrick patent to gather the same substance from green tea that Fitzpatrick obtained from Grape Seed Extract.
And that is where we, the ignorant compilers of this website, get lost. Because as far as we know, there is not that much of these kinds of polymeric phenols present in green tea. How much green tea does it take to produce enough VASO6 for the supplement industry?
US Patent 6,706,756 B1.
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