Credit: Michigan Bean Commission
Soy Labs LLC, a Fairfield, Calif.-based neutriceutical company, presents Lunasin-XP, a proprietary ingredient for inclusion in soyfoods, nutritional supplements, cosmeceuticals, functional foods and beverages. Lunasin, first discovered in 1996, is a 43 amino-acid peptide first isolated from soybeans and recently found in barley as well. Research by the company shows the lunasin peptide works at the genetic level and exhibits cholesterol lowering actions as well as cancer-preventive properties. Lunasin was first investigated as a factor that might prevent cancer cells from dividing and multiplying. It is believed to block cell division by binding to specific chromosomal proteins. Further research has shown the lunasin peptide appears to inhibit the natural production of cholesterol in the liver and also appears to enhance the binding of LDL cholesterol in the body.
It’s encouraging to see new and detailed studies of the potential health effects of soy. Much has been written and claimed about soy, but controversy remains. If the company’s claims of functionality are supported by peer-reviewed research, then lunasin may prove to be an interesting nutraceutical which could become a part of a dietary intervention to help persons with high cholesterol levels. The isolation and characterization of lunasin, as well as attempts to elucidate the mechanism of its actions, provide formulators and processors with the science-based background necessary to develop and use soy nutraceuticals effectively in formulation toward preventing disease and enhancing health.
- Winston A. Boyd, Ph.D.
Soy Labs LLC; Fairfield, Calif.