The evidence of the benefits of a lunasin-based supplement program continues to roll in. A University of Missouri study of pigs supplemented daily with Reliv Now® and LunaRich X™ for eight weeks showed significant improvement in key biomarkers associated with cardiovascular and metabolic health.
“While this was a small animal study and only a preliminary step in demonstrating the efficacy of this supplement regimen, the dramatic results are remarkable,” said Dr. Alfredo Galvez, Chief Scientific Advisor at SL Technology Inc., a Reliv subsidiary. “Most exciting of all is that there currently exist no effective treatments for improving key biomarkers measured in the study, namely circulating free fatty acids and the hormones leptin and adiponectin.”
Test subjects recorded a decrease in weight gain and a 65% reduction in free fatty acid (FFA) levels, a biomarker associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. While previous experiments had demonstrated LunaRich X’s ability to lower LDL cholesterol, FFA levels remained relatively unchanged with LunaRich X supplementation alone. Only when combined with Reliv Now did researchers see a significant reduction in FFA levels.
The decrease in FFA levels was accompanied by coordinate increases in plasma levels of the hormones leptin (+64%) and adiponectin (+60%). Leptin signals the brain when the body had enough food, producing the feeling of fullness. Adiponectin (ADP) is a hormone from fat cells that controls energy metabolism, increases insulin sensitivity and supports weight loss. The two hormones perform complementary actions and can have additive effects on weight management.
A four-week washout period followed the eight weeks of supplementation. During these four weeks, test subjects maintained the same diet and activity levels but no longer received the combination of Reliv Now and LunaRich X. At the end of this washout period, key biomarkers measured in the study — FFA, leptin and adiponectin levels — returned at or near pre-study levels. Conclusion: The combination of Reliv Now and LunaRich X was responsible for the marked improvement in metabolic and cardiovascular health indicators.
“The physiology of pigs is very similar to our own, especially in liver function, so the results do suggest the potential for significant human health benefits,” said Reliv Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Carl Hastings. “When you combine these results with the health benefits reported by Reliv consumers and the body of research already surrounding lunasin, it’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities. The next step is to conduct human clinical trials, which we are actively pursuing.”
Over an eight-week period researchers fed obese pigs an otherwise soy-free diet that included daily servings of Reliv Now and LunaRich X. Blood draws were taken at 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 24 hours after ingestion to test the bioavailability of the lunasin. Weight and blood draws were taken at pre-treatment, at 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks after treatment had begun. At the end of 8 weeks, an additional 4 weeks washout period followed without treatment. Weight and blood draws were also taken at the end of washout period (12 weeks).
Lunasin Powers Up Other Nutrients
In addition to its own benefits, lunasin increases the benefits of other bioactive nutrients in two ways:
Synergism: Lunasin works in conjunction with other nutrients, each with its own effect on genes and physiological pathways. Many health problems are caused by multiple pathways and their interactions. If you disrupt these pathways with different bioactive nutrients, you can produce a more effective means of prevention.
Increased potency: Lunasin can also increase the potency or efficacy of other bioactive nutrients. For example, some nutrients are activators of important genes involved in maintaining health. Once these genes are activated, lunasin has the ability to further increase their expression by making them more readily recognized by the cell.
“My working hypothesis to explain the increased levels of leptin and adiponectin in this study is that bioactive ingredients in Reliv Now activate the leptin and adiponectin genes and lunasin then increases the expression of the activated genes,” Dr. Galvez says. “But more research is required to determine which nutrients are doing what.”