Unique Qualities In A Purely Natural Product
Dr. Jerry SCHLESSER, U.S., researcher, developer of natural products
In my experience, which is over 20 years, as a physician, as a researcher, as a developer of natural products that have been studied in various medical centers around the country and outside the United States as well, this particular Samento stands out most importantly in my mind, because it is an unprocessed product, which is very, very unusual - to find something that as a native material can have the therapeutic effects that are being reported around the world. Also, it’s unusual because Cat’s Claw and its compounds have been subjected to fairly intensive preclinical studies, in vitro studies, animal studies, toxicology studies and so forth. So we really have a sense of confidence about Cat’s Claw and also about the alkaloids and the active constituents that are in Cat’s Claw that may be responsible for parts of its actions. I also want to say, that like all natural products we don’t know enough about them and as time goes on we are going to learn more. Even in the last couple of months, there have been several reports of newly discovered compounds, new alkaloids, or precursor compounds.
I’d like to share with you something that is revolutionizing naturopathic medicine or integrated medicine in the United States and that is a new recognition for the intestinal tract as an important barrier, a filter if you will, a first line of defense for the body. Now there’s a new diagnostic category that we’re calling “leaky bowel syndrome”. Essentially what it’s down to is that the intestinal tract’s basic function is to act as a filter and supposedly it’s selectively filtering the things that we need inside our body and keeping the things that we don’t need outside our body - it’s like a huge genetic engineering factory. When we’re born it’s completely sterile and as we mature within a matter of a decade or so it’s accumulated at a very diverse population of life forms. This concept of the leaky bowel syndrome seems to satisfy some doctors’ understanding of why there can be such a diverse array or constellation of symptom patterns, diagnostic categories that can respond when you treat this leaky bowel. Essentially what we’re talking about here is a failure of the filtration mechanism to keep out large molecules which then result in the body’s developing antibodies or some type of reactivity to these macromolecules. And as a result you get symptoms - you can get joint symptoms, mental symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms; any number of combinations you can think of and of course that’s depending on each individual’s uniqueness and so forth.
And now I’d like to go back to Cat’s Claw. According to the most recent studies published it’s a fair assumption that Cat’s Claw is definitely modifying the expression of tumor necrosis factor from the body. This has been studied in various systems and I think it closely parallels what we’re finding with rheumatoid arthritis and some of the other inflammatory conditions that people are responding to with Samento. It’s the TOA-free form of Cat’s Claw that’s modifying the tumor necrosis factor.
Let’s not forget that there are many other substances in Cat’s Claw that are responsible for its overall benefit - antiviral compounds, antimicrobial compounds, potentially antiparasitic compounds, antioxidant compounds and compounds causing changes in the lining of the blood vessels or endothelial cells that result in the release of as yet unknown messenger molecule that is modifying the function and the expression of the immune system, namely the lymphocyte populations and the macrophages. This is particularly important in the area of cancer.
The pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POA) have an immunomodulating effect on the immune system. They increase the absolute numbers of the lymphocyte population but they don’t have a cytotoxic effect and they don’t have an effect on the overall white blood cell count. That’s really interesting property and they also have a kind of cytostatic effect on blast cells, which is to say pre-cancer cells in the lymphocytes. We plan to organize clinical trials for Samento, both in the United States and abroad, so we collect information and eventually publish it.