Science & Health Today: Q&A with Dr. Alfredo Galvez





You’ve got LunaRich® questions, Dr. Galvez has answers. Below are his responses to some of your most common inquiries.

Dr. Alfredo Galvez is a renowned research scientist at the Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics at UC Davis and lead scientific advisor at SL Technologies, a Reliv subsidiary. Dr. Galvez first discovered lunasin in 1996 during research at UC Berkley to improve the nutritional profile of soy protein.

How does lunasin know which genes to turn on and off?

The lunasin peptide and its functional homologs in other seeds are found naturally only in the storage cells of developing seeds. Lunasin binds to specific histones (packaging material of DNA), allowing the storage cells to replicate its DNA without undergoing cell division. In the process the storage cells enlarge and, after repeated cycles, grow big enough to store the carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients needed by the plant embryo to germinate and grow into a seedling. This functional role of lunasin in seed development is conserved in nature.

For tens of thousands of years of human evolution, seed proteins have been the major source of protein and nourishment of humans foraging for plants and cultivating crops for food. My working hypothesis is that lunasin, with its histone-binding properties, has co-evolved with the human genome to optimize the epigenetic regulation of genes important for human fitness and survival. This proposed model of adaptive evolution through epigenetic control of gene regulation provides an explanation as to why lunasin has targeted and highly coordinated effects on gene expression to improve health and to provide protection from adverse environmental conditions.

In other words, lunasin exists in nature and provide health benefits for a reason and NOT by chance. And always remember that before there were drugs, there was food.

There are other nutrients that also work at the epigenetic level. What do we mean when we say lunasin is the first nutritional compound identified to do so?

Other food nutrients identified that work at the epigenetic level include resveratrol from red grapes/wine, sulforaphanes from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, and EGCG from green tea, among others. The epigenetic mechanism of action of lunasin was first described in 1998 to explain how lunasin can inhibit gene expression of unhealthy genes. A patent disclosure filed by UC Berkeley in 1998 was published in 2001. The epigenetic mechanism of action for these other food nutrients were described and published after 2001, making lunasin the first nutritional ingredient identified to work at the epigenetic level.

What is research showing about our ability to pass epigenetic traits on to our children?

Ongoing research seeks to prove that epigenetic marks laid down in a person’s lifetime can be passed on to subsequent generations in a process called transgenerational inheritance. This phenomenon has already been observed in plants and lower forms of animals such as fruit flies, nematodes and mice through the process of paramutation and genomic imprinting.  Research is also seeking to better define epigenetic “windows of opportunity” with regards to transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic marks, including key developmental phases such as pre-conception, pregnancy, infancy and adolescence.

Can people with a soy allergy take LunaRich X™?

Studies done in Europe on people with soy allergies have shown that the soy albumin fraction in which lunasin is found does not cause allergic reactions. However, we cannot generalize for all soy allergy sufferers, so caution should still be practiced when taking LunaRich X. A quick way to determine if one is allergic to LunaRich X is to put a small portion under the tongue and monitor for any allergic reaction such as itching and swelling. As always, we recommend you consult your physician if you have any history of food allergies before you start any supplement regimen.

We know from wonderful stories that Reliv LunaRich products provide results at any age, but why does Reliv nutrition and LunaRich become even more important as our bodies age?

The sooner people consume high-quality nutrition like Reliv, the better. But it’s never too late. The epigenome changes as a person grows older and gets exposed to different environments and lifestyles. Some of these epigenetic changes may lead to predisposition to serious health problems. Reliv nutrition and LunaRich can help in preventing and even reversing some of these aberrant epigenetic marks and protect cells from further damage as our bodies age.

Why can’t I just eat soy beans (edamame), tofu, soy milk, and other soy products to get my lunasin? Why do I need your products? What’s the difference?

Not all soy preparations contain effective levels of bioactive lunasin. In fact some may contain lunasin that when ingested becomes inactivated and non-functional. Each serving of LunaRich soy powder and LunaRich X contains the equivalent amount of bioactive lunasin that can be found 25 grams of high-quality, industry-standard soy protein isolate, the daily amount identified by the Food and Drug Administration to help reduce the risk of heart disease. This means that you are assured of getting a healthy amount of bioactive lunasin in your body when you consume Reliv’s LunaRich products.




23 thoughts on “Science & Health Today: Q&A with Dr. Alfredo Galvez

  1. Hello Dr. Galvez.

    Can you tell me if children can use the lunarich x? I have a son who has alopecia areata and would like to try the supplement. I read it reduces inflammation which is part of the hair loss issue with alopecia. Could you let me know? Or recommend any other of your products?

    Thank you,


  2. I started taking the lunacin capsules plus NOW powder 1xday. My hot flashes have subsided but I am feeling bloated as I used to before I would menstruate. Am I taking too much of the soy???

  3. Do you recommend this for patients who has Estrogen dependent IDC of the breast? Doesn’t soy mimics estrogen?

  4. I have a question about prostate problems. It’s possible that my prostate is somewhat enlarged. Does RELIV’ have a specific product that I can safely take to prevent prostate problems in the future. I am 66 years old and would like to avoid problems that some men my age encounter. Also, for my wife and her cholesterol problem, what would you suggest?

  5. I am looking for supements for als treatment. There is a man from Westport ma that claims he is improving becuz of your product. I believe his name is mcduffs I like the epigenectics approach. And belief. I follow dr wallachs protocol with youngevity company. Which is eat 10 eggs a day Take the essential 90 vitamin and minerals along with efa and epas. Fish fish oils. Selenium And high antioxidants of 100k a day on the orac value system
    Dr wallach biwbes in epigenectics and my health challenge can b reversed. He said the brain and the mylin sheath is 100 percent cholesterol and large quantities of that is good
    Gluten free and stay away from all oils and frying. It’s the oxidizing of food and oils that is bad. Please pass on any supplement or ideas to help me and please forward this email to dr galvez I need help ASAP and I thank you
    My name is john 978 473 0418

    1. Reliv products are intended to provide balanced nutrition for a healthier lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Reliv products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Although many individuals have seen improvements in their health when consuming these products, individual results will vary. We feel that optimal nutrition is beneficial to all. If you have further questions, feel free to call us at 800.735.4887 or email Thanks!

  6. Can any of your products help an individual with a PLS? It is a form of ALS.

    Thank you

  7. Dr. Galvez,

    When cholesterol is reduced as a result of taking LunaRich, what happens to that reduced cholesterol and where does it go in our bodies? How does the body maybe dispose or convert or use this cholesterol?

    Thank you.

  8. If there are any specific individuals who have found that mobility from arthritis has improved, and/or inflamation has decreased in your musculoskelatol system please send me your comments.
    These are very much the reasons I would take such a product but I want to get real comments from real people.
    Thank you,

  9. Just wanted to know your comment on question no. 4 Send last September 2013by Elenita Montano Thanks.

  10. Hey Sheryl! My husband and I both have arthritis and this product has greatly helped us both. We end up with about 4-5 points of lunarich a day, but you will have to see how much it takes for your individual needs. It really works tho:) Ask the person who shared reliv with you to share more peoples stories so you can understand what this is, its really unique. Blessings–Peg

  11. Do you have studies on the teratogenicity of lunasin? The reason why I ask this question is that I am tempted to prescribe lunarich x to my pregnant patients as I do prescribe folic acid in the first timester.

  12. My 24 year old is experience rapid hair loss over the last month. No extraordinary stress (apart from her hair falling out), blood test all normal, no thyroid issues. Doc say’s it has to be stress. Can reliv help stop hair from falling out?

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