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The Endothelial Glycocalyx
The foundation of cardiovascular and circulatory health

Structure of endothelial glycocalyx and its activation of vascular muscle relaxation via nitric oxide (NO) in response to increased shear force3,6

The endothelial glycocalyx is a microscopically thin gel-like layer that coats the entire luminal side of the vascular endothelium. It is the key to endothelial health because it prevents cholesterol and other particles from adhering to or penetrating the endothelial wall.

Its functions in vascular and micro-vascular health include:

  • Regulates vascular permeability and fluid balance due to the large size and negative charge of its glycosaminoglycans2,3
  • Provides a physical barrier against inadvertent adhesion of platelets and leukocytes to the vascular wall4
  • Regulates coagulation as many of mediators of coagulation pathway are buried inside the glycocalyx under normal physiological condition5
  • Functions as a mechano-sensor and mechano-transducer of the shear-force inside blood vessels to regulate the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) in response to the blood flow3,6

Educational Videos

Arterosil for Artery Health

For Patients

The Endothelial Glycocalyx - The Foundation of Cardiovascular Health

For Healthcare Professionals

Glycocalyx Damage and Associated Pathologies

The endothelial glycocalyx is a delicate structure and can be damaged under many conditions. The primary contributors to breakdown of the endothelial glycocalyx are high blood glucose, oxidative stress and inflammation. Pathologies associated with impaired endothelial glycocalyx include:

  • Coronary heart disease7
  • Hyperglycemia8
  • Diabetes9
  • Renal diseases10
  • Lacunar stroke11
  • Severe trauma12

About Arterosil®

The primary active ingredient in Arterosil® is derived from a rare green seaweed.

Green seaweed polysaccharides have been reported to possess anticoagulant and antithrombotic activity[13].

The polysaccharide in Arterosil® has a similar chemical structure to heparan sulfate found abundantly in human endothelial glycocalyx and may exert its biological activities by regenerating endothelial glycocalyx.


U.S. and International Patents Pending.

New Study Focuses on Arterial Elasticity

A new clinical study tested the hypothesis that Arterosil® rapidly improves arterial elasticity and pulse wave reflections through enhancing the endothelial glycocalyx and its mediated arterial function. Nineteen healthy human subjects were randomly recruited for a single blinded clinical study, which was conducted at an independent cardiology center on the Baylor Medical Campus in Plano, Texas. The vascular health condition was evaluated utilizing an FDA cleared, Class II plethysmography device.

Results of the study showed these average percentage improvements in arterial function within 60 to 90 minutes of consuming the product:

The Original Human Clinical Trial

An earlier study of Arterosil® demonstrated measurable improvements in endothelial function as measured by EndoPat following consumption of the supplement.

There is additional research that establishes the multiple health benefits of a healthy glycocalyx.

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1.Bernhard F. Becker, Daniel Chappell, Dirk Bruegger, Thorsten Annecke & Matthias Jacob. Therapeutic Strategies Targeting the Endothelial Glycocalyx: Acute Deficits, but Great Potential. Cardiovascular Research (2010) 87:300–310.

2.Bernard F. Becker, Daniel Chappell & Matthias Jacob. Endothelial Glycocalyx and Coronary Vascular Permeability: the Fringe Benefit. Basic Research in Cardiology (2010) 105:687–701.

3.F. E. Curry & R. H. Adamson. Endothelial Glycocalyx: Permeability Barrier and Mechanosensor. Annals of Biomedical Engineering (2012) 40:828–839.

4.A. W. Mulivor & H. H. Lipowsky. Role of Glycocalyx in Leukocyte-endothelial Cell Adhesion. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology (2002) 283(4):H1282–H1291.

5.Sietze Reitsma, Dick W. Slaaf, Hans Vink, Marc A. M. J. van Zandvoort & Mirjam G. A. oude Egbrink. The Endothelial Glycocalyx: Composition, Functions, and Visualization. Eur J Physiol (2007) 454:345–359.

6.Bingmei M. Fu & John M. Tarbell. Mechano-sensing and Transduction by Endothelial Surface Glycocalyx: Composition, Structure, and Function. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. (2013) 5(3): 381–390.

7.Ties A. Mulders, Max Nieuwdorp, Erik S Stroes, Hans Vink & Sara-Joan Pinto-Sietsma. Non-invasive Assessment of Microvascular Dysfunction in Families with Premature Coronary Artery Disease. Int J Cardiol. (2013) 168(5):5026-5028.

8.Max Nieuwdorp, Timon W. van Haeften, Mirella C.L.G. Gouverneur, Hans L. Mooij, Miriam H.P. van Lieshout, Marcel Levi, Joost C.M. Meijers, Frits Holleman, Joost B.L. Hoekstra, Hans Vink, John J.P. Kastelein & Erik S.G. Stroes. Loss of Endothelial Glycocalyx During Acute Hyperglycemia Coincides With Endothelial Dysfunction and Coagulation Activation In Vivo. Diabetes (2006) 55(2):480-486.

9.Claudia Nussbaum, Ana Cavalcanti Fernandes Heringa, Zuzana Mormanova, Alexandra F. Puchwein-Schwepcke, Susanne Bechtold-Dalla Pozza & Orsolya Genzel-Boroviczény. Early Microvascular Changes with Loss of the Glycocalyx in Children with Type 1 Diabetes. J Pediatr. (2014) 164(3):584-589.

10.Carmen A. Vlahu, Bregtje A. Lemkes, Dirk G. Struijk, Marion G. Koopman, Raymond T. Krediet & Hans Vink. Damage of the Endothelial Glycocalyx in Dialysis Patients. J Am Soc Nephro (2012) l23:1900–1908.

11.Remy J.H. Martens, Hans Vink, Robert J. van Oostenbrugge & Julie Staals. Sublingual Microvascular Glycocalyx Dimensions in Lacunar Stroke Patients. Cerebrovasc Dis (2013) 35:451–454.

12.Elaheh Rahbar, Jessica C Cardenas, Gyulnar Baimukanova, Benjamin Usadi, Roberta Bruhn, Shibani Pati, Sisse R Ostrowski, Pär I Johansson, John B Holcomb & Charles E Wade. Endothelial Glycocalyx Shedding and Vascular Permeability in Severely Injured Trauma Patients. J Transl Med. (2015) 13:117.

13.M. F. de Jesus Raposo, A. M. B. de Morais & R. M. S. C. De Morais. Marine Polysaccharides from Algae with Potential Biomediacal Applications (2015) Mar. Drug 13:2967-3028.

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11445 E. Via Linda, Unit 2-229
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
1-480-454-5566 (fax)

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