Nutrition 21 has received another new patent from the US authorities, this time for the use of arginine silicate complex as a dietary supplement to promote bone and cartilage formation.
The company already holds US patents for an arginine-silicate-inositol complex and for both the dietary supplement and pharmaceutical uses of an arginine-silicate-inositol complex in the treatment of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.
Gail Montgomery, president and chief executive officer of Nutrition 21, said: "The uses for our arginine-silicate-inositol complex covered under this latest patent have significant potential implications for the treatment of osteoporosis, as well as other conditions and injuries affecting bones and joints."
Osteoporosis is a widespread disease characterised by decreased bone mass and poor bone quality, which leads to increased numbers of fractures typically of the hip, spine and wrist. According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in the United States alone, 10 million people already have the disease and 18 million are at risk, 80 per cent of whom are women.
Each year, 1.5 million fractures are attributed to osteoporosis, including 350,000 hip fractures.
Arginine is an amino acid that is a precursor of nitric oxide, an anti-inflammatory with bone and joint health benefits as well as anti-atherosclerotic vasodilatory effects. Silicon has been shown in studies to enhance growth and development of bone, cartilage and connective tissue, and improve bone density. Nutrition 21 believes that the combination of arginine and silicon (in the form of a silicate) will have synergistic effects.