The Story of Syntra-5
Work on Syntra-5 started in 1999, when the original formula took shape. We worked with a respected bariatric physician from the Seattle, WA area, himself a type 2 diabetic, in creating a formula that would really work for his patients, himself, and other members of his family. That meant including ingredients in this product that had strong evidence of effectiveness before they were included in the formula. Only three ingredients met that criteria at the time: hydroxycitric acid (HCA), chromium, and vanadium.
Sales of this formula began in late 1999 and continued all over the world with two consequent formula improvements occurring between 1999 and 2004. These formula improvements included adding various vitamins and herbal extracts to the original formula as new research surfaced indicating their positive effects on blood glucose levels. These additions included vitamin c, biotin, gymnema sylvestre, cinnamon, bitter melon, banaba, and fenugreek.
Our sales, and more importantly our repeat sales of the product were excellent so we decided to approach some national health food stores to carry our product. While interested, the stores wanted some research that indicated whether the product was safe and effective or not. This, like most dietary supplement companies, we did not have. So we decided to obtain testing to see if we had a product that was really as good as we thought it was.
By early 2006, we were ready to continue our research efforts. We felt confident we had an effective product, but we were now a little gun shy about working with research companies and the costs involved, so we decided to have a small, preliminary, 30-day, 18 person, fructosamine study done. This study was not double blind or placebo controlled, but it did show us, in an admittedly un-scientific way, that our product was effective. 83% of the study participants improved with an average 9.3% improvement. While not of any scientific value, this “study,” along with the anecdotal evidence we had received over the years (yes, I know the negatives of all anecdotal evidence, but at this point, it nevertheless entered into our decision), convinced us in late 2006 to invest in a larger, human clinical trial.
This was not a small decision for us. Not only had we just been taken for nearly $50,000, but as a small company we would need to divert our entire marketing budget for a year or more to pay for a larger human trial. Worse, we didn’t know how it would come out. If the results did not show at least moderate effectiveness (something we could use in our marketing efforts), we would risk losing our company. But we felt confident in our product, so we began the search for another research company.
We commissioned a 100-person, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, human clinical trial. The trial began in June of 2007 and was designed to examine how well Syntra-5 works with the body to produce healthy blood sugar levels by measuring response in a glucose challenge test, A1c, and other biological markers. Secondarily, it examined how well Syntra-5 works with the body to produce healthy triglyceride, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
The trial concluded in September of 2007 and the results were both positive and profound. During the 90-day trial period, A1c levels among active participants dropped over 3 percent (7.7 to 4.66), fasting glucose levels by over 105 pts., triglycerides by over 20%, LDL cholesterol by over 34%, total cholesterol by over 29%, and there was nearly a 10 lb. weight loss with no change in diet, activity level, or fluid intake! No other product in this category, pharmaceutical or natural, has ever approached this level of effectiveness in a clinical setting.
In March of 2010, we commissioned a murine (mouse) study to compare the efficacy of Syntra-5 to the three top-selling diabetic medications: metformin, Actos, and Byetta. We created two groups of 40 mice, one normal diet, one high-fat diet. Each of these groups was divided into 5 groups (control, Syntra-5, metformin, Actos, Byetta). We measured 45 biological markers including 35 cytokines, growth factors, glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Organ pathology was assessed visually at necropsy and by microscopy of hematoxyllin-eosin stained formalin-fixed tissues. Results showed that Syntra-5 exerts a salutary effect in diabetes by significantly regulating expression of a broad range of surrogate markers of diabetic severity. Syntra-5 significantly out-performed metformin, Actos, and Byetta as an effective intervention for type 2 diabetes.
This cast a whole new light on Syntra-5. We learned that Syntra-5 was a potent anti-inflammatory agent that performed in similar fashion to Byetta in many inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers. The lead researcher of the murine study, Dr. Rob Streeper brought us up to date on some of the latest diabetes research that is causing many experts to rethink some long-held beliefs about the relationship between diabetes and inflammation.