LunaRich was developed by soy expert Soy Labs at the Missouri Plant Science Center (MPSC) exclusively for Reliv, which makes nutritional supplements.
According to Soy Labs, lunasin - discovered by MPSC’s lead scientific advisor Dr. Alfredo Galvez in 1996 at UC Berkley - selectively disrupts a necessary step in the production of a key enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase. When levels of that enzyme are constricted, the liver produces less cholesterol.
It is also thought lunasin up-regulates the expression of the LDL-receptor gene, thus increasing the number of receptors available to clear LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, claims the firm.
Innovation in the soy industry has been stagnant for some time
LunaRich is the first product to come out of an R&D partnership that Reliv, Soy Labs and the MPSC formed last summer, Reliv’s chief scientific officer Dr Carl Hastings told NutraIngredients-USA.
“With LunaRich we have increased the level of lunasin, which studies show to be the mechanism of action behind soy’s cholesterol-lowering properties. This was accomplished through breeding and seed selection, harvesting the highest quality beans and processing them to retain as much lunasin as possible.
“As a result, LunaRich will allow consumers to enjoy soy’s documented health benefits in a much smaller serving size than standard soy protein.”
He added: “Innovation in the soy industry has been stagnant for some time. Despite consumer awareness of the documented health benefits of soy, many consumers are following the trends and looking at other ingredients simply based on headlines.
“LunaRich is based on the most comprehensively researched soy peptide in the industry. The health benefits of lunasin have been documented in more than 40 peer-reviewed and published studies, supported by over 25 public and private funding sources”
Dissolves easily in a shake
LunaRich was not the same ingredient as LunaSoy , another soy powder developed by Soy Labs and distributed by The Scoular Company, he said.
“LunaRich was developed using the same proprietary technology used to create LunaSoy, which ensures the integrity and bioavailability of the lunasin peptide.
“LunaRich was exclusively designed and customized to meet the specific formulation requirements of Reliv’s products, such as a lower fat content and other specifications. The result is a soy powder that works synergistically with Reliv’s other ingredients and dissolves easily into a nutrient-packed shake.”
FDA cardiovascular health/soy protein claim
A claim authorized by the FDA in 1999 allows firms to use the wording: ‘25g of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease’.