NSRI Research

Read Abstract of Immune Guard® study

Immune Guard® is a patent-pending combination of natural ingredients, polyphenols, decaffeinated EGCg as Sunphenon 90DCF®, (standardized 50%), and L-theanine as Suntheanine® (standardized 98%). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted at the University of Florida showed that Immune Guard® decreased the incidence and duration of cold symptoms, and boosted natural immunity by almost 30%.  A daily portion of 2 capsules contains the active ingredients from 10 cups of decaffeinated green tea.

EGCG, long known as an antioxidant from green tea, also directly kills, viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells, and it prevents harmful inflammation. L-theanine, an amino acid unique to green tea, and well-known for its anti-stress properties, strengthens a part of the immune system that is responsible for killing foreign invaders.

L-theanine discovered to be significant immune system booster.
Recently, Dr. Jack Bukowski, MD, PhD, NSRI Chief Scientist, was interviewed on the subject of L-theanine. “As is the case with many discoveries, finding that L-theanine, a major component of tea beverages, boosts the immune system was basically accidental.” . Dr. Bukowski had been studying how T cells, an important part of the immune system, are triggered to make interferon gamma, a natural chemical that is crucial to protecting our bodies from viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can cause such illnesses as colds, pneumonia, AIDS, herpes, and diarrhea, among many others. In fact, interferon gamma also kills cancer cells. “T cells are turned on in our immune system by what’s termed a “lock and key” mechanism,” Dr. Bukowski explained.   “What we were trying to determine was which part of the lock (receptor) fit with the key (antigen). We were using recombinant DNA technology to engineer small changes into the natural receptors on the T cells, and trying different antigens to turn on the receptor. We couldn’t seem to find the right combination.”

Although his research initially proved frustrating, Dr. Bukowski remained undaunted. Drawing upon his years of experience as a research scientist at Harvard, he took a new approach.  He began to systematically test all the antigens against all the receptors, even the natural, “un-engineered” ones. One of these antigens, called ethylamine, was indeed able to turn on the natural T cell receptor to make interferon gamma.

A new antigen for T cells had been discovered.  
Through subsequent experiments, Dr. Bukowski learned that using small amounts of ethylamine antigen allowed the T cells to make lots more interferon gamma to fight foreign bacteria. In other words, it triggered a natural defense mechanism to certain diseases, illnesses and conditions. It was definitely an exciting finding…with one notable exception.

The problem was ethylamine is a very basic substance. Right out of the bottle, in pure, concentrated form, it is actually toxic, causing burns and lung damage. Therefore, ethylamine taken orally as a “nutrient” or a “drug” was not an option. “If ethylamine can’t be taken as a supplement, then where does it occur in our diet, since it must get into our body fluids somehow?” became the subsequent mystery that needed to be solved.
Through additional research, Dr. Bukowski learned that L-theanine has been known to be present in high concentrations in tea drinkers. How is this possible? In 1949, a Japanese researcher discovered that tea beverages uniquely contain huge amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that is broken down in the body to yield ethylamine, the T cell activator needed.

The stage was now set to try a very safe experiment in humans.

The NSRI team, headed by Dr. Bukowski, organized two groups of volunteers:
• 11 non-tea drinking volunteers were asked to consume a certain large quantity of tea, every day for 4 weeks
• 10 volunteers were asked to drink the same amount of coffee for that same amount of time.
Blood samples were taken and everyone’s T cells tested, both before and after the testing began, at one week intervals. It was found that the T cells did make some interferon gamma when exposed to bacteria, even before the tea drinking began. However, astonishingly enough, in as little as one week after the start of the tea drinking, the T cells exposed to bacteria in that testing group made 500% more interferon gamma than they had done the week before! This pattern continued for the entire 4 weeks, in 7 out of the 11 volunteers. In stark contrast, only 1 out of 10 volunteers who drank coffee instead of tea made more interferon gamma.

NSRI had reproduced in humans what was initially found in test tube experiments, an achievement of extreme significant importance as most test tube observations are either not tested in humans or the tests fail altogether.

Clinical Study at the University of Florida
Now, it was time to test the actual Immune Formula in the most rigorous scientific way. Sixty healthy volunteers aged 18-70 were given Immune Guard® for 3 months, and another set of 60 closely matched volunteers were given a placebo sugar pill. Each subject was asked to record the number of days they had cold symptoms in a personal log. They were asked about incidence and duration of headache, stuffy nose, runny nose, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, fever, and how often they needed to see the doctor for these symptoms.

The results have been published and appear in the October, 2007 issue of The Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Read Abstract of Immune Guard® study

Read Abstract of Cardio Guard® study

Cardio Guard® is a patent-pending combination of natural ingredients,polyphenols, decaffeinated EGCg as Sunphenon 90DCF®, (standardized 50%), and L-theanine as Suntheanine® (standardized 98%), shown in university studies to work together to reduce blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also reduces levels of serum amyloid alpha (SAA), an extremely large risk factor for stroke and heart attack, two of the most devastating cardiovascular diseases. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted at the University of Florida showed that NSRI’s Cardio Guard® significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and SAA levels. A daily portion, provided as 2 capsules, contains the active ingredients from 10 cups of decaffeinated green tea.

Tea drinking and cardiovascular risk
Scientists have suspected for a long time that tea drinking may reduce cardiovascular risk (stroke, heart attack), but research in this area has been difficult. There are thousands of different types of tea plants, and hundreds of ways to make tea. Measurement of tea intake by recall is an inexact science. These variables can affect how much active ingredients (EGCG, polyphenols, and L-theanine) tea drinkers consume. These problems have, until very recently, caused disagreement in the scientific community as to the cardiovascular benefits of tea, and as a result, the FDA declared in 2005 that tea was unlikely to be of any benefit.

However, the scientific landscape changed dramatically within the last year, when a very well-done, 11,000 subject study from Japan, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed conclusively that drinking green tea decreased the risk of stroke and heart attack. Two other studies of significance have been published in the last year, but first, some background information.

Within the past 5 years, it has become accepted in clinical cardiology that chronic inflammation, often occurring without symptoms, is a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack. In fact, several studies suggest that chronic inflammation is more predictive than obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, and even high cholesterol.

Serum amyloid alpha (SAA) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are measures of chronic inflammation commonly tested in blood. This inflammation is thought to clog arteries, just as cholesterol does. SAA and CRP both increase with age and with obesity, and the higher the level, the higher the cardiovascular risk. Statins are drugs that lower cholesterol and have been shown to prevent heart attacks. However, recent evidence has shown that statins also lower SAA and CRP at the same time.

This lowering of inflammatory markers at the same time has brought into serious doubt the solitary role of cholesterol in cardiovascular risk. In fact, studies show that some people who take statins lower their cholesterol modestly or not at all, but lower both CRP/SAA levels substantially, and their risk for heart attack and stroke is the same as those who lower their cholesterol substantially.  While no one is saying that high cholesterol is not an important cardiovascular risk factor, the evidence for high levels of SAA and CRP being risky is at least as strong, if not stronger.

Thus SAA and CRP are the new cholesterol.
Within the last year, a clinical study showed that healthy people who routinely drink green or black tea have lower SAA and CRP levels. Another very powerful randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that subjects drinking over 4 cups of tea per day for 3 months dramatically lowered their SAA and CRP levels as compared to those who drank a placebo tea.

There has been evidence that EGCG, a component of green tea, has anti-inflammatory properties in Petri dish studies, and mouse studies. L-theanine has been shown in rats to decrease blood pressure. These studies support the studies described above with tea. In addition to those studies, there are studies showing that heavy tea consumption is associated with low blood pressure, and that drinking tea lowers LDL cholesterol.

Clinical Study at the University of Florida
Now, it was time to test the actual Cardio Guard® in the most rigorous scientific way, namely a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Sixty healthy volunteers aged 18-70 were given NSRI’s Cardio Guard®for 3 months, and another set of closely matched volunteers were given a placebo sugar pill. Blood was drawn, and blood pressure was taken before and 3 weeks after taking NSRI’s Cardio Guard® or placebo. Cardio Guard®:

  • Lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5 and 4 mmHg, respectively
  • Lowered serum amyloid alpha (SAA), an inflammatory marker strongly associated with risk of cardiovascular disease, by 42%
  • Lowered oxidized lipids by 13%
  • In subjects having LDL cholesterol elevated above 99, lowered both LDL and total cholesterol by 9 mg/dl

The results have been published in the peer review journal Nutrition.
Standardized Capsule of Camellia sinensis Lowers Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. 2008  Nutrition 25:147-154.

  1. Abstract Cardio Guard®
  2. LINK 1 Dirk De Bacquer, Els Clays, Joris Delanghe, Guy De Backer. 2006.
    Epidemiological evidence for an association between habitual tea consumption and markers of chronic inflammation. Atherosclerosis; 189(2):428-35.
  3. LINK 2 Andrew Steptoe, E. Leigh Gibson, Raisa Vuononvirta, Mark Hamera, Jane Wardle, Jane A. Rycroft, John F. Martin, Jorge D. Erusalimsky    2006. The effects of chronic tea intake on platelet activation and inflammation: A double-blind placebo controlled trial Atherosclerosis (Epub before print)
  4. LINK 3 B. Delia Johnson, PhD; Kevin E. Kip, PhD; Oscar C. Marroquin, MD; Paul M Ridker, MD; Sheryl F. Kelsey, PhD; Leslee J. Shaw, PhD; Carl J. Pepine, MD; Barry Sharaf, MD; C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD; George Sopko, MD; Marian B. Olson, MS; Steven E. Reis, MD.  2004. Serum Amyloid A as a Predictor of Coronary Artery Disease and Cardiovascular Outcome in Women The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Sponsored Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE). Circulation;109:726-732.
  5. LINK 4 Kuriyama S, Shimazu T, Ohmori K, Kikuchi N, Nakaya N, Nishino Y, Tsubono Y, Tsuji I.   2006. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study. JAMA 296(10):1255-65.