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Extract of Uncaria Tomentosa, AC-11®: Benefits, Dose, Source

AC-11 is a bioactive extract of Uncaria tomentosa (a.k.a. cat's claw) from the Amazon rainforest that can be taken orally for a variety of proven health benefits.

20 Jan 2021 • 5 MIN Vincent Giampapa MD
AC-11 Extract

The AC-11 extract is becoming increasingly popular as a supplement. It is sold in various oral supplements for a variety of benefits, and also sold in skin serums that contain a liposomal AC-11 delivery system. This article focuses only on the benefits from oral supplementation, and provides a high-level overview of AC-11, including its science-backed benefits, how it works, recommended dose, source, manufacturing process, safety, and efficacy.


What is AC-11 and What Are Its Health Benefits?


AC-11 is a bioactive extract of Uncaria tomentosa (a.k.a. cat's claw) from the Amazon rainforest that can be taken orally for a variety of proven benefits. It is proven to support: 

  • Cellular DNA repair [1][2][3]
    • AC-11 has the ability to help the body naturally repair its cellular DNA in human studies.
  • Inflammation [4][5]
    • Studies show AC-11 helps normalize the cellular expression of NF-kB, helping to regulate your cells’ response to inflammation.
  • Antioxidant status [6][7]
  • Healthy Immune function [8][9][10]
  • AC-11 showed a positive impact on immune cells (lymphocytes), increasing their lifespan.
  • Apoptosis (Our body’s natural ability to clear out damaged cells) [11] 

These benefits amount to five powerful anti-aging functions critical to health and quality of life as we age. The underlying improvement in cellular behavior from the use of AC-11 manifests itself to the user as increased energy, enhanced immune function, and optimize overall health.

AC-11 is very different from other cat's claw extracts and products because it is virtually alkaloid-free, standardized to 6-8% carboxy alkyl esters (CAEs), water-soluble, organic, and supported by over 20 years of research, 40 peer-reviewed studies, and 10 U.S. patents.

Most cat’s claw products are simply ground up whole-plant. These products are usually high in alkaloid content, which can be harmful. AC-11 is a refined extract that comes from the inner bark (only) of the cat’s claw vine that is relatively alkaloid-free (<0.05%).


How AC-11 Works


DNA is found Inside each of our cells. It holds the code that instructs our cells to make accurate copies of themselves as needed during life. When our cells are damaged, this code becomes increasingly inaccurate, Our DNA is damaged about one million times per day! The accumulated damage leads to many conditions of aging and disease. Our bodies have enzymes to repair DNA damage, and with the support of certain nutrients, the body can function optimally to repair the damage. AC-11 is one of these nutrients, backed by scientific, peer-reviewed clinics studies.


Discovered and Sourced in the Amazon Rainforest


Mysterious and amazing, the Amazon Rainforest has been in existence for over 50 million years, naturally evolving with little disturbance from the earth's cataclysms, such as the ice ages. The complexities of life in the rainforest, older and more intricate in many ways than life elsewhere, have only been appreciated by modern science over the past 30 years. The particular Amazon rainforests of Brazil and Peru are often called a "living pharmacy" for the depth, variety, and complexity of the botanical life forms that have developed over many thousands of years.

Researchers often make breakthrough discoveries studying the wondrous ecosystem of this region. Scientists believe only 1 in 5 potentially life-saving plants of the rainforest have been discovered to date. From the remote rainforest area, one such discovery has led to the innovative and exciting medicinal extract AC-11, with an array of health-conducive properties not found in other botanicals. 

AC-11 was discovered in 1996 by Dr. Ronald W. Pero, Ph.D. Dr. Pero's work involving AC-11 was based on more than 30 years of research on indigenous Amazon plant life in South America. His observation of the CampaMed Indians for their unusually long and disease-free lifespan led him to study their behaviors. He witnessed the tribe Shamans, who were natural experts in plant-based rainforest medicines for over 2000 years, using a crude hot water extract of an indigenous plant called Uncaria tomentosa. The Shamans claimed the "tea" they made from this vine had powerful medicinal properties. Upon studying the tea at his lab at the University of Lund, Sweden, he isolated the active components, Carboxy Alkyl Esters (CAEs), and launched further studies with these active ingredients, which proved powerful effects at the cellular level on DNA repair, inflammation, and apoptosis – all critical elements of cell health related to many diseases common in an aging population. Dr. Pero's early work helped further the understanding and therapeutic value of AC-11.


Sustainable Rainforest Harvesting


AC-11 is derived naturally from Uncaria tomentosa, a vine that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest. This vine is harvested sustainably in compliance with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). This harvesting process ensures future maintenance of a natural balance in the rainforest. The harvest is cut at a point on the plant approximately three feet above ground level; the plant is then capped to ensure the integrity of the vine's root structure and rapid regeneration. Additionally, new saplings of the vine are planted in a precise manner to ensure the harvesting area's continued viability. The manufacturer of AC-11 works in cooperation with the Floravida Institutes (Brazil) guidelines for biodiversity, conservation, and environmental education.


AC-11 Extraction Process & Ingredient Properties 


AC-11 is created using a patented, proprietary "aqueous hot water extraction" and purification process standardized to a minimum of 8% CAEs concentration. Studies show that this active ingredient significantly enhances the body's natural ability to repair damaged DNA. AC-11 differs from other Uncaria tomentosa products (blends and extracts), most of which are marketed under the standard "cat's claw" name. AC-11's distinct molecular composition comes from a patented extraction process. AC-11 is standardized, alkaloid free (<0.05%), pure, water-soluble,, and micro-filtered (contains only low weight molecules <10,000 Daltons). Other Uncaria tomentosa products cannot make the same claims. All of the standard industry-accepted tests are performed to ensure the product meets requirements for sale in the United States and abroad.


AC-11 Manufacturer


AC-11 is manufactured in Botucatu, Brazil, with the contracted services of Centroflora Group – a U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved, ISO 9002-certified facility operated in compliance with FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) regulations.


AC-11 Patents


AC-11 patents and trademarks are owned by Optigenex, Inc., including United States and International patents 6,964,784 and 7,579,023 and 7,595,064.


AC-11 Safety and Efficacy


AC-11 is backed by an extensive efficacy and safety profile. It is the only known plant extract in the world that has shown the ability to enhance the cellular DNA repair process. Few other nutraceutical extract ingredients have been subjected to as much scientific study rigor as AC-11. The purity of AC-11 comes from the clean, contaminant-free, chemical-free, toxin-free environment of the Amazon rainforest and the method by which the plant is harvested, processed, and filtered. By contrast, mild toxicity with long-term use is often observable in other Uncaria tomentosa products, especially the water-insoluble, alkaloid based extracts sold by many companies.


AC-11 Effective Dose Recommendations by Weight

According to the relevant studies, the recommended daily dosage of AC-11 taken orally is 375 to 700 mg, depending on weight. For adults under 175 lbs, 350 mg daily is recommended. For adults over 175 lbs, 700 mg daily is recommended. However, there is no danger in taking as much as 1,000 mg.

I recommend my patients take at least 375 mg daily of the pure AC-11 offered by Healthycell.

To your health,
Dr. Vincent Giampapa, MD, FACS
Visiting Scholar, The Sinclair Lab
Harvard University, Boston, MA
Cell Aging Researcher & Author
Director, Cell Health Institute