New "anti-cramping" product
Many athletes and patients who are regularly affected by cramping, have been asking my opinion on the new product currently code-named “itsthenerve” (www.itsthenerve.com).
I have looked closely at the scientific work completed to date, regarding efficacy and safety.
A quick overview of my thoughts thus far.
- The rationale of muscle cramps originating at motor neurons (nerves) is plausible.
- To date, there has been very little research completed to highlight the relationship between overstimulated neurons and subsequent cramping.
- The group that has formulated “itsthenerve”, Flex Pharma, has funded a number of studies conducted by independent labs, which demonstrate interesting findings. See abstract of one such study here http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/1_Supplement/lb706
- The studies completed thus far have not yet been published in quality peer reviewed journals. On that basis alone, it’s currently impossible to draw conclusions on the quality of research conducted.
- There is a so called whitepaper on the company website. Technically, it’s not a traditional whitepaper, as there is no data corresponding to a validation study. Rather, it’s a descriptive marketing pamphlet.
- The active ingredients appear to be one or more Transient Receptor Potential Channel activators (TRP), which target ion channel modulation.
- The active ingredients have not yet been advertised by Flex Pharm. However TRP are likely derived from high concentrations of natural food extracts.
- The product does not have FDA (USA) or TGA (Australia) approval as far as I know. Apparently the product has been tested by an independent laboratory to verify WADA compliance.
- At US$35 for a 6-pack (1 pack per dose), it’s not cheap.
- I will watch the progress of further validation studies with great interest. At this point in time I would suggest those interested in trailing to be cautious. The pre-order period is open now, however it is not wise attempting to import products for human consumption without full understanding and disclosure of active ingredients. Not just from a customs border control perspective, but health safety as well. If you are an athlete, I would also strongly recommend independent ingredient validation.
Dr Simon Sostaric