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A naturally-occurring soy peptide, discovered by UC Berkely scientist Dr. Alfredo Galvez in 1996 as a result of his research to improve the nutritional profile of soy protein.
Further research by Alfredo F. Galvez sought to prove that lunasin is the active agent in soy responsible for these benefits.Dr. Galvez produced a lunasin extract that is 100-200 times more potent than typical a soy isolate.
Dr. Galvez's research proved lunasin to be responsible for the LDL cholesterol lowering benefit associated with soy.
Dr. Alfredo GalvezChief Scientific Officer at SL Tech, a Reliv Company
Interestingly, pointed out Dr. Alfredo Galvez, chief scientific advisor at Missouri-based SL Technology (a Reliv company), a majority of the mass marketing for cholesterol management is from pharmaceutical companies, therefore many individuals associate cholesterollowering treatments with prescription medicines over dietary supplements.
"The most compelling result of recent clinical trials on cholesterol management is that the only significant causal association between cholesterol lowering and reducing risk for CVD is by treatment with statin drugs," explained Galvez.
Reliv International's LunaRich products, said Galvez, "are the only nutritional products on the market that have a similar mechanism of action to that of statin drugs.
The discoverer of lunasin, Dr Galvez, has spent the past decade cross-breeding varieties of soy to create a non-GMO variant that is high in lunasin content, and in developing methods for extracting the lunasin for commercial sale.
All Reliv nutritional supplements are soy-based, but Dr Galvez, the chief scientist at SoyLabs and the discoverer of Lunasin, has done studies to show that purified lunasin taken in a gelcap (as with LunaRichX) can provide the epigenetic benefits without triggering a reaction to soy.
Dr. Alfredo Galvez, the scientist who first discovered lunasin, notes that exhibits significant anti-inflammatory properties.
"In developing LunaRich for Reliv, we have maximized lunasin levels in soy."
he addition of LunaRich comes less than a month after the CDC published findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicating metabolic syndrome continues to rise among Americans.
Progress In The Cholesterol Puzzle - Nutrition Industry Executive Magazine
According to Dr. Alfredo Galvez, lead scientific advisor with Missouri-based Soy Labs, LLC, some of the "megatrends" that are driving the nutrition market in general are directly impacting this category."An aging population, lack of confidence in traditional health care systems and globalization/consumer access to information are compelling shoppers to be proactive and seek alternative solutions to their health concerns," he said.
"Most cholesterol is produced in the liver by the HMG-CoA reductase gene.Statin drugs work by blocking HMGCoA, but they can often block too much," Galvez explained.
"This leads to serious side effects because our body needs a minimum level of cholesterol for proper cellular functions such as maintaining cell membrane integrity and hormone production.
According to Galvez, lunasin works differently: it targets cholesterol at an earlier stage than statins, reducing the HMG-CoA without blocking it entirely.
"Lunasin demonstrates superior support for cardiovascular health and exhibits significant anti-inflammatory properties," he added.
Compared to statins, lunasin works at an earlier stage in the process than prescription statins by reducing the expression of the HMG-CoA Reductase gene, according to Galvez.
"While cholesterol is an accepted biomarker for identifying the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, other potential biomarkers (e.g. inflammation markers, circulating free fatty acids, etc.) are being identified that may play and equally important role in heart health," Galvez agreed.
"The key to future innovations in this segment will be finding bioactive compounds that work synergistically to support heart health by addressing the many inter-related health indicators."
Further, a new take on statins may be forthcoming.
"Recently research is considering the use of low-dose statin treatment for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease," Galvez added.
Alumni UP LB and current lead advisor for Soy Labs LLC in Missouri U.S.A., Dr. Alfredo Galvez recently gave a media talk about the Soy peptide called Lunasin, which is said to be key to having good heart health and other advantages.
"In the 1990s, there were already several studies about how daily soy consumption reduced the risk of heart disease.
Lunasin, which by the way, goes back to my Filipino roots, because the word Lunas means 'solution'," he says.
When from the right plants and properly processed, Lunasin can help head off heart disease by working in the liver to carry out cholesterol synthesis and produce less cholesterol, and increasing LDL receptors to help extract more cholesterol from the blood stream, and thereby prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.
"Sometimes, even a healthy diet and exercise may not be enough to prevent cholesterol problems," he cautions.
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