Politics Drives a Promising Nutraceutical Underground

The plural of “anecdote” is “data”.  When Anatabloc was taken off the market two years ago, customers bemoaned the loss of the only product they had ever found that relieved their arthritic symptoms.  One of them contacted me through this blog, and told me that before it disappeared, he stockpiled three years’ inventory, which he is still taking now.

Anatabine is a naturally-occurring chemical constituent of eggplant, tomatoes and (especially) tobacco.  The chemical structure is similar to nicotine

Anatabine is interesting because

  • Inflammation is one of the primary means by which the body self-destructs as we get older.
  • NFκB is the best-known pro-inflammatory hormone that increases with age, to our detriment.
  • Anatabine is reported to block the action of NFκB.

Beginning more than 10 years ago, anatabine was promoted by Star Scientific Co as a nutraceutical under their trade name, Anatabloc.  Impatient with the steady rise of sales, Johnnie Williams of Star Sci used political influence with Virginia’s Gov Bob McDonnell to get Medicaid to pay for anatabine as a drug.  A scandal two years ago brought down Williams and McDonnell both.  (Jon Stewart skewered the story at the time, and though his take on the politics may be well-grounded, his implication that any chemical found in tobacco must be poison is silly.)  Anatabine was dragged down with the two, and now research on a promising chemical is foundering.  Anatabine is no longer available for purchase in the America or Europe.

In the only published clinical study of anatabine, it was found useful for an obscure auto-immune syndrome of the thyroid.  In the government web site ClinicalTrials.gov, there are three more completed trials for which I was unable to find publications as yet.  The most interesting relates to the effect of anatabine on C-Reactive Protein in the blood, which is a well-established marker of inflammation.  That study was conducted by Michael Mullan of Roskamp Inst.  In this video, he reviews a mouse study suggesting anatabine might be useful for slowing progress of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Psoriasis is another disease of inflammation gone awry for which it may be useful, and reportedly Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals is banking on psoriasis for their first clinical approval, from which they might leverage research on other applications.  Smoking cessation is another promising early application.  But in the long run, Rock Creek scientists have their sights set on Alzheimer’s Disease.  (I’ve been unable to raise a response from Rock Creek’s principal scientists to find out more.)

What’s the evidence for blocking NFκB?

These three studies [1, 2, 3] all claim to observe that NFkB activity is lower in mice taking anatabine.  The mechanism is to block phosphorylation of NFkB, which is an energizing stage in the biochemistry that initiates its activity.  Dosages were injected, at 2mg/kg.  These studies followed from cell studies in vitro observing the same chemistry.

All studies come from the same team of scientists, associated with RockCreek Pharma and the Rosskamp Inst, both in Tampa, FL.  I wish there were independent groups replicating their findings, and I suspect that it is the political scandal that has driven them away.

I learned from Examine.com of two more herbs that block NFkB, to wit Boswellia (frankinicense) and Feverfew.



Anatabloc contained a dosage of only 1mg per pill, but rodent studies suggest that the effective human dosage is likely to be at least 10 times higher than that.


Safety, and the Bottom Line

Reported side-effects of anatabine include headache and stomachache.  Perhaps this is why the dosage in Anatabloc was kept so low.  Rock Creek Pharma claims that a phase-1 trial of oral anatabine found no side effects, but anecdotal evidence suggests that some people have serious responses.

The best evidence we have may be from a user survey conducted by scientists affiliated with Rock Creek, and written up as a journal article.

Of the 78 respondents who stopped taking the supplement for some period of time for any reason, 83% experienced a noticeable return of their joint pain symptoms. Forty-four of 65 (68%) respondents indicated that their symptoms returned within 2–3 days or less, and 64 of 65 (98%) indicated that their symptoms returned within one week or less (Fig. 3). Almost all of the respondents (64 of 65, or 98%) who had stopped using anatabine and felt their joint pain symptoms return subsequently felt those symptoms decrease once they resumed using the supplement.

The survey indicates a lot of satisfied customers, but does not touch on the issues of dosage or side-effects.

52 thoughts on “Politics Drives a Promising Nutraceutical Underground

  1. I also used Anatabine and had no apparent effects. However, in the course of having some routine blood work done, the thyroid had become hyperactive – really hyper. the TSH was about 0.25. So in some “normal” thyroid people there is some danger.

  2. NF-kB is not a hormone, it’s a transcription factor that itself is transcribed in response to a number of inflammatory cytokines.

  3. RE: your article on anatabine citrate (formerly known as the nutraceutical “Anatabloc):
    I am glad to see this compound is getting some of the attention it deserves. It’s kind of ironic that so many people who took Anatabloc for a variety of conditions from Crohn’s to psoriasis to sinus infections raved about it, that it almost makes it sound too good to be true. My doctor first told me about this a few years ago and he recommended it to patients in the office and friends outside the office; almost all of whom have told him they miss it greatly now. He had even recommended it to two patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and both reported a worsening of the disease when their Anatabloc ran out. One of those patients had a daughter that was a nurse and she confirmed that her parent did, in fact, deteriorate noticeably after no longer taking Anatabloc. Thanks again for this great coverage. (My only side effect was tingling lips.)

  4. Josh, it has been withdrawn in the USA.But what about other countries – Australia, Canada, UK etc. ? Do you know if Anatabloc can still be bought in these places ?

  5. Hi Josh – I took this for back pain for my L5-S1 disc. It completely took my pain away for 3 months. I have since used it intermittently and it does still help me not have to take any opiods. I also stocked up on a 2 year supply. I literally had tried everything for my back and could not believe this actually worked. My hair dresser has hashimotos and she recommended that I try this.

    Do you know how soon they will start to sell it again?

  6. I’ve been taking Anatabloc since it first became available through Star Scientific and then GNC. Over that time I purchased enough for both my wife and I to dose 6 – 10mg daily. I spent thousands of dollars when Anatabloc became available on Ebay. I can hardly believe a nutraceutical would be so effective in making a material difference in my overall health that I would spend that kind of money. The fact is I suffered most of my adult life (I’m 58) with lower back pain. My back would go out – sort of speak – 2 to 3 times a year and would be so severe that it affected my posture for weeks and no amount of vicadin or soma (muscle relaxer) would touch it or shorten the episodes. It was like clockwork except there was no warning when the condition would flare up. And later in my 40’s my shoulders began giving me trouble to the point of being diagnosed with bi-lateral frozen shoulder. I endured steroid injections into each shoulder with zero effect on my condition.
    The funny thing is I didn’t start taking Anatabloc for joint pain but for the promise of life extension through the reduction of chronic low level inflammation. At the time I did not connect my back and shoulder problems with inflammation. Who knew? I sure didn’t.
    It did not happen overnight and I’m still not sure when it happened, all I know is I eventually came to realize that I had full motion in my shoulders with no pain whatsoever. And more importantly, more incredibly, I have not had a single episode of back pain or soreness. Nothing. I’m no doctor or scientist but I don’t have to be to know Anatabloc changed my quality of life. I have paid for full blood panels in addition to the 1 I get annually through insurance as part of my wellness exams and there’s never a metric that is out of range. My last CRP-hs – or is it hs-CRP? – measured 0.17/dL. I have to pay for that test too because insurance doesn’t cover it unless you complain about chest pain to your doctor, according to my long time GP.
    The reason for all the blood tests in the beginning, I don’t bother with them anymore except for my annual, is because my wife was taking Anatabloc too and I wanted to do what I could to make sure it was safe for her. She had neck surgery in her 40’s where 2 discs were screwed together and it was successful. I just thought it would be a good idea for her to take Anatabloc too. And she does to this day.
    We’ll run out of Anatabloc eventually but I’m convinced it has been so effective in eliminating the chronic inflammation we both suffered from, possibly due to over doing it in our youth and then cutting way back to raise a family, that we’ll be able to make do with lessor substitutes if it never makes it back to the market. I sure hope the new company can bring it back in my lifetime though.

  7. Statism is the worlds problem. It stems from the Catholic Church and carried out by the Jesuits. They are actually whats behind the joke word “illuminati”. History proves this over and over from Constantinople to Rome to present day. Statists are religious to the core and have been completely indoctrinated by the Jesuits of Rome. They have literally no ability to critically think or question whats happening. They merely wrap themselves up in a corporations flag and yell racism until they get what they want. Malignant narcissistic sociopaths control the world, but are you really surprised in a sin fallen world with the greatest deceiver as their leader?

      • I assume the connection is that a unelected officials at a government agency like the FDA can arbitrarily ban a valuable plant extract like anatabine, that has no known serious risk and many potential benefits, and we are powerless at the moment to retaliate. There is no clear indication in the constitution that the federal government has the legal authority to create agencies like the FDA. Many actions of the FDA seem to directly violate the first amendment, among other rights. The framers of the constitution debated whether health freedom should be a guaranteed right, but decided against it on the grounds that they believed the constitution already rendered organizations like the FDA unconstitutional.

        There’s convincing research that the net effect of the FDA is strongly negative, including many unnecessary deaths (probably millions). That’s not a happy situation for an agency that has 15,000 employees and spends more than 4 billion dollars of our money every year. The FDA is also notoriously corrupt, with many past officials there involved in scandals and some criminally indicted. And like most bureaucracies, it’s mostly only flunkies who end up there. The current director, like all the directors during my lifetime, is a scientific zero, a dull wit, and in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies. We’d be much better off if there were no FDA, or at best it was a purely advisory organization, with a reasonable budget, and some way to attract scientifically competent employees with a modicum of ethical integrity.

        I don’t know what the correct legal mechanism is, but I’d like to see the FDA completely dismantled. If possible, I’d like to see most or all of the current and past employees of the FDA given very long prison sentences or executed for their role in violating our rights and causing very large numbers of unnecessary deaths (probably millions). I don’t know why we can’t have something like the Nuremberg trials for an agency that is as wicked as the FDA.

        I’ve been a Libertarian since the 1980’s, and the abuses of the FDA was one of the many reasons I chose that political orientation. Almost no one I knew back then was a Libertarian, but now a quite significant percentage of the people I know are Libertarian.

        I find Libertarian is now the predominant political orientation among extremely intelligent young people (high school, college, young adult). Note: I’m talking about the very smartest, not the average students. I am a professor so I am exposed to a lot of young people. This is a big political shift from past decades, when a sizable percentage of smart young people were “liberal,” even including some of the smartest. I don’t see that anymore.

  8. I am surprised this has not been picked up and made in a foreign pharmacy somewhere. or has it ? it is about time. then have it shipped in. alot of people, i mean ALOT of people are ordering overseas and having something shipped in with little impunity. why not this. i am really surprised at that. hopefully it will be very soon.

  9. I dont get it, I believe it was helping people,
    why didnt the manufacturer just go out of the country and make it ?

  10. October 2014 letter from an Anatabloc user to Star Creek Pharmaceuticals, written by a good friend of mine.


    Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    2040 Whitfield Avenue
    Suite 300
    Sarasota, FL 34243

    I am one of those people whose life has been transformed by Anatabloc.

    I am a 63 year old female. I suffered for months starting in 2011 with a sudden onset invasive skin disease, which started after I burned my hands with some cleaning chemicals. Went through seven diagnoses and baffled three doctors. The disease, which looked like three or four different rashes combined, defied two rounds of Doxycycline hyclate plus various topical and oral anti-fungals, lotions, diet changes, and baths. I went through numerous blood tests, allergy tests, and a rather painful “punch” biopsy. The rashes covered 2/3 of my body, my hair was falling out, and the bottoms of my feet looked liked they had been slashed with razor blades, so I was housebound for many months. My fingertips also were gashed to the point I could not touch paper or hold a pen without covering the paper with blood spots. One doctor suspected an underlying autoimmune disease but tests were inconclusive.

    I was able to knock out some of the infection with a series of bleach baths, but I was still in bad shape. Then my husband suggest that I try Anatabloc. The rashes started to clear up within a week. My hair grew back and is now thicker than it has been in decades. My skin softened and looked much younger. Also, my summer time allergies mostly disappeared, my nails grow faster, wounds heal quicker, and many old aches and pains have disappeared. For the first time since 20 years ago – when I had a laminectomy – I can weed and garden for more than a few minutes without muscle spasms. And, my appetite decreased and I sleep better.

    Today, except for some small dry patches on my hands and feet, the rash is mostly disappeared, and my skin looks better than before.

    Needless to say, I was devastated to hear you have taken Anatabloc off the market. I have no idea what I will do when my supply runs out. Will the disease come back? The doctors were at the point of prescribing biologics for me, which, after I read the fine print, I rejected.

    My father was a clinical and forensic pathologist, and I know how irrational the FDA can be. I also know that thousands of people like me, particularly the folks with bowel disorders and crippling arthritis, are probably also dismayed. I understand you are dealing with this as best you can, but I wanted you to know that for people like me, Anatabloc is the difference between functioning and not. I can now walk for miles with no pain – and no bloody socks, and I did not have to wear long sleeves and long dresses this summer to cover the lesions. Or a hat summer and winter to cover up very thin hair. My computer is not covered with skin peeling off my hands and arms. I can wash dishes, file papers, and my computer is clean. I am not up 24 hours at a time, awake from burning pain and itching. (I don’t do conventional drugs well.)

    So please do your best. A lot of us are counting on you.

  11. I am annoyed that we are forced to pay to support the FDA as it sends out threatening letters that prevent our friends from having access to nutrients that keep them healthy. Where in the US Constitution is this kind of authority given to government? Nowhere. And or good reason.

  12. If anyone can sell me 10 to 20 bottles of Anatabloc. I am willing to pay up to $90 per bottle for any unopened bottles. What the FDA did is wrong and it only helps the big pharmaticutical companies. My supply is running out and I really need to get some more or otherwise my pains, aches, and other problems will start coming back.

    Mad Scientist

  13. I totally agree with all of the positive comments here as I took Anatabloc at 8 mg/day for all of the time it was available, and was amazed at its benefits!

    The big question remains, given the studies released over the years by The Roskamp Institute, why has no creditable support or curiosity about its potential not received any attention whatsoever from medical media, news media, Wall Street, or any of the support institutions of the numerous inflammatory diseases which could benefit from a safe and effective anti-inflammatory?

  14. I am a 55 year old professor who began Anatabloc in December 2012. I finally broke down and paid $250 a bottle for my last couple of bottles on ebay (where they no longer are). I would function best at 10 per day, but take 6 to stay “ok.” I have been hypothyroid for years, and before I took anatabloc had just learned to slow down on all my hobbies like gardening and crafts because my hands were so arthritic (not so serious I was willing to take the pharmaceuticals with all of their side effects). Within three days of taking it (mostly for a bum knee and old ankle sprain that bothered me) not only were those cured but my arthritis disappeared. I like those above, have regular blood panels and all is well. I never had a single side effect.
    I have tried calling RCPI (who look like they are going bankrupt) and spent hours being transferred, left messages sent letters, and get no reply. I keep hoping to see it be manufactured by some enterprising Indian company or to see RCPI go to New Zealand or something. It has been bad enough to have to buy toothpaste with Novamin from Sensodyne’s European product (after they bought the Novamin company, they only put it in the European toothpaste). Now I find this easy and wonderful supplement and have to consider vaping WTA (whole tobacco alkaloids) in order to maintain any anatabine levels!
    If anyone has any ideas, I am game to be a fellow (smallish) investor. If RCPI goes bankrupt, can the patent be purchased for production, perhaps in India or something? I’m taking Boswellia and it seems a little helpful. I’ll look into feverfew and that one at the top of the emails.

  15. Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals has now gone bankrupt. The website of the Roskamp Institute, which still names anatabine citrate as being used in research on Traumatic Brain Injury in veterans, seems to have no legal right to use anatabine, since the Intellectual Property and patents do not belong to Roskamp. I tried to contact former CEO of Roskamp Michael Mullen who, until weeks ago was also CEO of Rock Creek. He at first agreed to a phone call with a group of shareholders and then changed his mind and referred me to the trustee. This product could be extremely valuable and I do not want anyone getting the rights to it by some back alley dealings.

  16. I tried this for back pain and it worked for 3 months. Then stopped working. I recently tried tart cherry supplements and it worked for back pain. I took a loading does and noticed a difference after 10 days. I have had 2 discectomys on my back. I am now seeing a Gonstead chiropractor and I am 98% pain free. I can not even believe it. If you have back pain I would try a Gonstead chiropractor (only 3 in my state). You can search for one under Gonstead Seminar.

    • I am glad the tart cherries worked for you. I sometimes buy cans of tart cherries for general anti-inflammatory–along with turmeric and some other supplements. I don’t think any supplement on the market works as well as anatabine citrate on such a variety of conditions. Now, it is no longer available and the company is bankrupt. I would like to find a way to make sure somehow Anatabloc can be sold in other countries and eventually here as a supplement. To do that, I am trying to find out who owns the patents now that the mfr. is BK. I know of people who, when they ran out of Anatabloc, had their conditions deteriorate rapidly.

      • To my understanding from reading in the past about this product, Jonnie Williams was the sole patent owner seen in all the patent submissions over the years of the product. Yes it is sad how the FDA was deemed to be put on task to take this product off the market. Way too much politics swirled around this product when it was in full motion forward. Then the FDA put the brakes on it and the company ran out of money (by making poor financial decisions with a couple of investor groups) before it could get the product through to complete clinical trials. Sure wish it could be brought back but I think Mr. Williams has given up on his dream and on to other things.

  17. I didn’t realize that the company stopped selling Anatabloc. Seems like there is a real need for it. I happen to have a couple of bottles. I guess I should put them on eBay.

    • You should have no problem selling your Anatabloc. I see at least three posts above by people who were making efforts to buy more. I’ve seen elsewhere a post by someone who had heard that someone in China was trying to copy anatabine citrate. They should just buy the intellectual property in bankruptcy court. What a complete shame that this product is not available when I hear radio commercials for a bunch of very questionable products.

        • I will do that. I am in touch with about 12 shareholders of the now bankrupt Rock Creek, most of whom bought shares because they had such good results with Anatabloc. We still communicate by email and on another board. This compound is too good to nOT come back somehow!

          • Hi Roxanne. In a word, no. We seemed to have no luck at all in having an effect on the bankruptcy, finding a pharma company interested in anatabine, learning why Predator Nutrition can (or just does) sell Anatabloc, or any clue on what Philip Morris will do with the patents. I had a guy email me last week about filing a complaint with the SEC to look into any wrong-doing with the company and the stock price, but not sure there is any chance of some results there.

  18. I took anatabloc for about one year and obtained almost 100% relief from psoriasis in the toenail, the only effective treatment I have ever found for a painful condition. Forcing Anatabloc off the market is just one tiny example of the overreach of the many federal government bureaucracies growing like cancer into every aspect of our daily lives. Think about that the next time you vote for either a Republican or a Democrat. Ron Paul and the Libertarian party are almost the only voices of reason advocating that we be allowed to simply decide these things for ourselves.

  19. Can someone please add me to the contact list of shareholders there are options. Try and buy the IP. Get it synthesised in china India, sell it under pet supplements banner. To be honest the company was run by a bunch of dreamers they kept diluting the death out of the company that’s what killed it. They had no idea how to run a profitable company. They ignored the international market by charging rediculous freight rates. They could of said it was for pets only. They could of produced it in a less regulated juristruction. They even had patents for safe tobacco. I would be interested to pick up the IP as a collective before some big pharmaceutical company shelves it.

    • I have an email from Predator saying that it is the old Anatabloc. I think their exact phrasing was, “it is the same exact formula, in fact.” I have tried to contact the Algerian firm Hydrapharm via Facebook but it looks like they did not even read my post or my PM. I have contacted George Miller the K attorney and received correspondence from his counsel, Linda Rickenderfer, who seemed very interested in anatabine and any connection to Archer Pharma, Roskpamp, Predator, Hyrdrapharm, and even a division of Wagreens which seems to have some type of equity agreement with Hydrapharm only in one area of Africa. Some of the users of the original A-bloc have said on another board that they are using the new product in combination with some original they’ve stocked. so it is hard to tell ye if the new product is working. I am always interested in more feedback, opinions and results from others. And if anyone is so inclined, send a PM to Predator on Facebook to confirm that they are selling the “exact same” formula. I’d like to see if they will continue to maintain that/

  20. here’s the current (02/08/2019) product link:

    Also currently on back-order as of the above date. 🙁 Bummer, I hope it gets back in stock soon, I’ve been without for a while & my chronic pain issues are starting to come back — ARGH!

    Been using this particular formulation for about a year. According the the ingredient list on the bottle I have in my hand at the moment, the formulation is not exactly the same as the old one; in particular it leaves out the nasty artificial sweetener sucralose (thank god!), and instead of saying anatabine citrate, it says pure anatabine — whatever that means . . . also there is no flavoring of any kind.

    I found the anatabloc product offered by predator nutrition to be effective. I really hope it comes back in stock soon!

  21. Predator Nutrition in the UK has been selling HydraPharm AnataBloc, but it is currently (as of 11/20/2019) “out of stock” or “on back order.” I have left my e-mail on the Predator UK web site and also sent an e-mail. As for HyraPharm, I have sent them an e-mail as well asking if it be offered over the internet again. I have one bottle of the original AnataBloc 300 doses. Is it safe to take now that it has long expired?

    • Here are several links discussing the fact that many drugs can be used far after their expiration date.

      Apparently the army even kept stock piles in hot conditions to study expiration date, and the drugs were still usable, after many years.

      Not sure about Antabine specifically.

      Here is a link to wikipedia and and a portion of the article:


      From the link: “A study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration covered over 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective far past their original expiration date. At least one drug worked 15 years after its expiration date. Joel Davis, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, said that with a handful of exceptions—notably nitroglycerin, insulin, some liquid antibiotics; outdated tetracyclines can cause Fanconi syndrome—most expired drugs are probably effective.

      The American Medical Association (AMA) issued a report and statement on Pharmaceutical Expiration Dates. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide notes that, with rare exceptions, “it’s true the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date”.”

      Also a Wall Street Journal article:


  22. Is there any new information on re-establishing manufacturing of Anatabloc & getting it back on market for purchase? In hopes of buying Anatabloc again I’ve followed Predator Nutrition and Hydrdrapharm for years and their Anatabloc is always out of stock so I assume the FDA used their long reach to shut them down. Most of us know this is a fraudulent shutdown of the product because it works way too well which threatens the established big pharma chemicals production profit base. Does anyone have any current information on Anatabloc? Thanks

  23. I am still using the original Anatabloc from my “stash” and I had no problems so I think the old stuff is not only still safe but is also effective. I am also taking another version to stretch my supply of the original. This new version seems a bit sketchy. There is no identification information on the bottle to identify the manufacturer. And since I am also still taking some of the original, I am not in a position to verify efficacy. I am not at home right now or I would publish the source of the new stuff. The new stuff is tablets not lozenges. I much prefer the original lozenges.

  24. Repost of Knuts4oe…
    You did not mention that Anatabloc was currently available from pickvitamin.com, which seems to be located in California. According to the label it is formulated by “Professional High-Grade Lab”, and a note which came with my recent purchase said “Anatabloc is same ingredient as the Hydrapharm: Anatablok that one is much better improvement”.
    (Note that these folks are “english language” challenged.)
    The note also specified that these tablets contain “Pure Anatabine more potent than Anatabine Citrate”. We still don’t know if this Anatabloc contains any Anatabine…

  25. If you do learn anything about this new “anatablok” please keep us posted. As I have said before, this in one of the best failed products ever.

  26. I had ~30 bottles on Anatabloc before all the sources dried up a few years ago. There was someone close to the inventory that was busted for selling it off on Ebay. That’s where I got most of my bottles. The seller actually negotiated with me on lower prices than what he listed. I’m taking them now after a several year break. Took very good care to keep the bottles cool & dry. I believe they’re still effective.
    You can get Anatabine from this place.
    Don’t know what that means but seems right to me. I’m currently taking 24mg/day of the original citrate version. I think the citrate form has a higher bioavailability.

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