|Nutrient FAQ: Folic Acid|
Many of us stare at the side panel of our cereal in the morning and have more questions than answers about the vitamins and minerals we’re consuming: What do they do? How much do I need? How can I add it to my diet? To help you out, here’s a breakdown on folic acid that will answer your most important questions.
What is it?
What does it do?
Because it is instrumental in cell development, folic acid is also invaluable during pregnancy. According to Science Daily, folic acid intake during pregnancy reduces chances for neural tube defects like spina bifida. A more recent study suggests women who took folic acid supplements before they become pregnant and in the first trimester could reduce the chances of their baby having childhood autism by 40 percent.
After birth, folic acid has also been associated with mental skills. Health reported a Swedish study released in 2011 connected higher grades in school with teens who ate diets rich in folic acid. Other studies have drawn a relationship between elderly people with Alzheimer’s and dementia and low levels of folic acid. Although these studies did not determine if folic acid was the specific cause of better grades or if lack of it caused mental deterioration, they suggest the potential impact our intake of the vitamin may have.
How much do I need?
Where do I get it?
How does lunasin affect the epigenome?
I discovered lunasin by serendipity 17 years ago, and one of the important observations I made after many hours of looking at the microscope was that lunasin attaches itself to the chromosomes, specifically to the histones, the packaging material of DNA. I then determined that it was binding to specific kinds of histone tails and that it can modify the epigenome depending on the environmental conditions.
Under normal conditions, lunasin modifies the epigenome to increase the expression of important genes needed for normal functioning of the cell and to protect the cells from environmental damage. But when cells are exposed to chemical and viral compounds, and environmental conditions that turn on the expression of genes that can damage or compromise the cell, lunasin inhibits the expression of these bad genes and limits their damage. In some cases, lunasin even gets rid of these damaged cells before they can cause diseases by allowing them to die in a process called apoptosis or programmed cell death.
That is why lunasin has both maintenance and preventive roles in the cell. It maintains optimal functioning of the epigenome and prevents unwanted changes to the epigenome that results in aberrant gene expression and eventually, the formation of chronic diseases.
Science & Health Today: Inside Reliv’s Lunasin Acquisition
By now you’ve probably heard the news: Reliv now holds the exclusive rights to the intellectual property behind lunasin! The announcement came on opening night of the Reliv 25 Conference in Orlando. In this installment of Science & Health Today, we examine exactly what that deal means by answering your most frequently asked questions.
What are the basics of the agreement?
Reliv International has entered into an exclusive license for the intellectual property of Soy Labs LLC related to the nutritional ingredient lunasin. The license covers an issued patent and several patent applications related to lunasin and soy-related peptides, proprietary information and manufacturing processes. Further, the arrangement allows certain Soy Labs employees to join the Reliv corporate staff.
So is Reliv the only place you can get lunasin?
Yes and no. Lunasin is a naturally occurring peptide found in seed-bearing plants. Since soy is such an excellent source of protein, it is also a superior source of lunasin. Lunasin is part of nature, so holding the exclusive rights to all lunasin would be like holding the rights to oxygen.
But not all lunasin is created equal – not even close. The concentration and bioavailability of lunasin among soy foods (soy milk, tofu, etc.) and other sources varies dramatically. And no other source can match the concentration and bioavailability of the lunasin found in Reliv products.
What Reliv does have exclusive rights to is the lunasin produced through a proprietary extraction process developed by Soy Labs. No one else has been able to effectively extract bioactive lunasin of such quality and in such concentration. Reliv is now way ahead of the curve in harnessing the power of this clinically proven superfood.
What lunasin patent is now transferred to Reliv?
Lunasin’s mechanism of action for reducing LDL cholesterol, first identified by Dr. Alfredo Galvez, has received a U.S. patent. That patent is now the intellectual property of Reliv. This means that no other company can promote soy’s lunasin-based cholesterol-lowering properties like Reliv can.
The agreement also delivered to Reliv multiple patents pending in the U.S. and abroad.
What else does Reliv get out of the deal?
Reliv gets exclusive rights and direct control over the entire LunaRich X™ production process and technologies. Reliv also now owns a proprietary bioassay that effectively determines the amount of bioactive lunasin available after digestion – the only test of its kind. It is this test that gives Reliv the unique ability to guarantee the bioavailability of lunasin in our LunaRich® products.
Looking forward, the agreement opens up opportunities for further research and development with lunasin and other plant-based ingredients.
Which Soy Labs employees join Reliv?
All members of Soy Labs’ lunasin innovation team have broken away from Soy Labs to form a new business entity: SL Technologies. SL Technologies is now a subsidiary under the Reliv corporate umbrella. SL Technologies staff includes:
- Lead Scientific Advisor Dr. Alfredo Galvez
- President Ryan Schmidt
- Chief Operating Officer Andrew Birney
- Executive Assistant Tina Van Horn
- Administrative Assistant Johnda Darby
- Special Projects Coordinator Tamara Shenouda
We’ve always endeavored to remain on the cutting edge of nutrition science in formulating our products at Reliv. And with the acquisition of the intellectual property behind lunasin, we are now leading the industry in the budding field of nutritional epigenetics. Lunasin is one of the first nutritional compounds identified to affect gene expression and promote optimal health at the epigenetic level.
New research shows that through nutrition people can influence which genes are expressed. Reliv is committed to building on this emerging science and developing nutritional solutions that help people take control of their health.
Epigenetics has hit the mainstream, and we believe nutritional epigenetics will soon follow. We’re beyond excited about what Reliv’s acquisition of lunasin-related technologies will mean for our Distributors and consumers around the globe.
To your health,
Carl W. Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Alfredo Galvez explains how lunasin’s ability to affect gene expression at the epigenetic level within cells allows it to provide multiple health benefits.
Epigenetics explained. Follow your DNA on an animated journey from your parents to your kids as lifestyle choices determine which genes you turn on and off
How many times did your parents and grandparents tell you sit up straight? Of course, Grandma’s wagging finger only made you want to slouch deeper into the couch, insisting you’d sit however you liked. Sooner or later, though, your however-you-like sitting will catch up with you, and you may wish you had listened to Grandma’s advice.
Why You Can’t Ignore Posture
Though your mind may forget your sitting stance, your body won’t. Bad posture damages your spine, causes back pain, leads to headaches and constipation, and makes you more prone to lung infection. A recent study also found poor posture may indicate an elderly person’s future dependence on others for daily living!
On the other hand, proper posture makes you appear thinner and more in control. It also builds on your core workout—sitting the correct way keeps working the same muscles you use during exercise.
When You Have Bad Posture
Opportunities for bad posture show up every day, especially if you hunch over a screen at work. You only add to the problem by shouldering heavy bags, wearing down and giving into a bad back position as you do chores, and slumping in social settings to make yourself less noticeable.
How You Can Fix Your Posture
“Most of us have posture that’s compromised in some way, but it doesn’t take a lot of work to correct it,” Ezriel Kornel, MD, of the Cornell University School of Medicine tells Health. “Your body simply needs to be taught to experience proper posture so that that becomes the place it naturally wants to be.”
You can’t fix the problem until you know the solution! Learn what proper posture looks like for standing, sitting and everything in between.
Practice, practice, practice
Activities like these can help you make proper posture a habit.
- Stretching throughout the day lowers strains put on your back.
- Pilates and yoga improve flexibility and back and core muscles, in addition to teaching how to sit straight.
- Walking and stretching every 30 minutes and building your core at your desk prevents sedentary behavior at the office. Or, if you work from home, work while you stand or walk the treadmill.
Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas to straighten up your posture. Our board Healthy Living Tips has inspiration to help you prevent slouching.
- How to Get Your Posture Back –http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20645435,00.html
- Older Adults’ Posture May Predict Future Disability –http://news.health.com/2013/04/19/older-adults-posture-may-predict-future-disability/
- Sit Up Straight! Why Bad Posture May Make You Look Heavier –http://www.self.com/blogs/flash/2011/07/sit-up-straight-why-bad-postur.html
- Best Stretches for Desk Jockeys – http://www.self.com/blogs/flash/2012/09/best-stretches-for-desk-jockey.html
St. Louis-born and raised, Taylor is Reliv’s Media & Marketing intern for the summer. She is pursuing a degree in Media Writing & Journalism at Taylor University in Indiana. When she’s not writing, reading, photographing, or designing for her classes or the yearbook, she loves watching movies, grabbing a drink from TU’s coffee shop The Jumping Bean, and planning her next traveling experience.
Deal positions Reliv as industry leader in emerging field of nutritional epigenetics
Did you hear the news? Reliv now holds the exclusive rights to lunasin! The announcement came on opening night of the Reliv 25 Conference in Orlando and was met with the loudest cheers of the weekend.
The basics: Reliv International has entered into an exclusive license for the intellectual property of Soy Labs LLC related to the nutritional ingredient lunasin. The license covers an issued patent and several patent applications related to lunasin and soy-related peptides, proprietary information and manufacturing processes. Further, the arrangement allows certain Soy Labs employees to join the Reliv corporate staff.
So what does this mean?
“This is a major step for Reliv and elevates our company to a unique status in the nutrition industry,” said President Ryan Montgomery. “For the first time we own an ingredient in its entirety, from the extraction process to the patented mechanisms of action within the body. And the lunasin in LunaRich X™ isn’t just any ingredient; it’s the world’s first epigenetic superfood.” View new animated video to learn how lunasin works.
Lunasin is the first nutritional compound identified to affect gene expression and promote optimal health at the epigenetic level. “We’ve always endeavored to remain on the cutting edge of nutrition science in formulating our products at Reliv. And with the acquisition of lunasin, we are now leading the industry in the budding field of nutritional epigenetics,” Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Carl Hastings said.
“New research shows that through nutrition people can influence which genes are expressed,” he added. “Reliv is committed to building on this emerging science and developing nutritional solutions that help people take control of their health.”
Reliv’s ownership of lunasin stems from a joint research and development partnership formed in August 2011 among Reliv, Soy Labs and the Missouri Plant Science Center. That partnership resulted in the creation of LunaRich® soy powder and LunaRich X, Reliv-exclusive products made from non-GMO soybean varieties with the highest concentration of bioactive lunasin and manufactured through a proprietary process that maintains the lunasin’s bioactivity.
“Acquiring lunasin not only gives us direct control over the entire LunaRich X production process and technologies, it also opens up opportunities for further research and development with lunasin and other plant-based ingredients,” Dr. Carl said. “We’re beyond excited about what this will mean for Reliv consumers around the globe.”
“Epigenetics has hit the mainstream, and we believe nutritional epigenetics will soon
Husband of one, father of two and champion of justice for all, Mark is the Director of Content Management at Reliv International. His job: to deliver insightful, entertaining and engaging Reliv info to the world. Interests: writing, running, relaxing and rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals.