Watercress urease inhibitors

Watercress derived urease inhibition.

A watercress extract containing potent bacterial urease inhibitors. This enzyme is pathological and linked to several GI diseases. Urease inhibition has a promising role in sports.


The urease enzyme converts urea to ammonia and is implicated in several pathological GI conditions including Helicobacter Pylori survival in the stomach, hepatic encephalopathy in liver cirrhosis and the age-related muscle loss in the frail and elderly known as sarcopenia. Our innovation is a watercress extract containing various different urease inhibitors which may have serve to be an adjunct or alternative to standard therapy. In agriculture, synthetic urease inhibitors such as Agrotain are fed to livestock to prevent the conversion of urea to ammonia. This allows cycling of urea to other useful amino acids which can be absorbed, thereby improving the efficiency of the gut at absorbing protein. Humans so far have not tolerated synthetic urease inhibitors well, the side effect profile is significant. This is why Lithostat, a synthetic urease inhibitor in the US (acetohydroxamic acid) is not widely used and not licensed in the NHS. We offer a natural solution with literature suggesting multiple urease inhibitors, such as those found in our watercress, have a synergistic effect. This is demonstrated in our laboratory studies in real patient urine demonstrating our extract inhibited urease at 90% efficacy compared to pure acetohydroxamic acid. In sports, the use of urease inhibitors may improve performance using the same mechanism as seen in livestock by improving protein absorption from the gut, while reducing toxic ammonia formation. Working with The Watercress Company in Dorchester, Watercress Research Ltd is a new start-up founded by Dr Kyle Stewart - GP, associate research fellow and NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur, and Paul Winyard - Professor of Experimental Medicine at The University of Exeter.

Key Benefits

Natural alternative offers reduced side effects. Massive GI / sports market. Potential reduction in antibiotic use, which has a knock-on effect to reducing antibiotic resistance. Massive environmental benefit in agriculture also by reducing ammonia leeching from animal livestock urine.


Agriculture - to increase yield of livestock and reduce environmental impact of urine Sports - improved recovery Medical - helicobacter pylori eradication, reduction inhepatic encephalopathy in liver cirrhosis, adjunct to build-up drinks in the elderly to reduce rate of age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). Other potential uses in struvite kidney stones, nappy rash in children, urea-splitting urinary tract infections (ie Proteus).

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