Reliv International, Inc., and Soy Labs LLC announced the creation of LunaRich(TM), an exclusive soy powder developed at the Missouri Plant Science Center (MPSC). Reliv is adding LunaRich to one of its nutritional supplements and will reveal that product at the Reliv National Conference in Reno, Nv., Feb. 17.
"Biotechnology is vital to Missouri's economic future," said former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond. "Our vision for the Missouri Plant Science Center is to unite our state's scientists, farmers and private-sector job creators to spawn biotech innovation. The collaborative effort between Reliv and Soy Labs is helping us realize that vision by bringing cutting-edge biotech products to market."
LunaRich is a whole soy powder containing five to ten times more lunasin than the industry standard. Lunasin is a peptide found naturally in soy that scientists have identified as the key to many of soy's documented health benefits. These include cholesterol management, heart health and weight loss, among others. LunaRich is the first product to come out of the joint biotechnology research and development partnership that Reliv, Soy Labs and the MPSC formed in August 2011.
"A growing body of research shows that the lunasin peptide is one of the most important bioactive components of soy," said Dr. Alfredo Galvez, the MPSC's lead scientific advisor. "In creating LunaRich for Reliv, we have maximized lunasin levels in a soy powder."
Dr. Galvez first discovered lunasin in 1996 during research at UC Berkley to improve the nutritional profile of soy protein. More than 40 peer-reviewed and published studies have documented lunasin's health benefits. Research by 21 institutions supported by 27 public and private funding sources has resulted in nine patents.
The amount of lunasin in soybeans varies significantly based on seed, soil and environment. The MPSC refines specially selected soybeans grown exclusively for Reliv to maximize levels of lunasin in LunaRich.
"This is a significant step forward for Reliv and for nutrition science. LunaRich is an extraordinary ingredient with solid clinical data behind it," said Dr. Carl W. Hastings, Reliv's chief scientific officer. "As scientists learn more about the mechanisms that make soy a nutritional superfood, Reliv is proud to lead the way in making the fruits of these discoveries available to all."