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Epigenetics Holds Key to Healthier Future

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The sequencing of the human genome was once hailed by scientists to be the harbinger of medical miracles. Yet, deciphering our DNA brought us no closer to understanding — much less finding effective preventive approaches for — major chronic diseases.

But new groundbreaking research is uncovering a higher level of complexity beyond genetic variation. Even better news: proper nutrition can produce positive changes at this higher level.

A recent article by the Associated Press highlighted new data the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project recently published in Nature – the international weekly journal of science.

"The scientific establishment has finally acknowledged that there is more than just DNA or the genome to explain how chronic diseases develop and how the environment, like nutrition and lifestyle, can have profound effects in altering our health," said Dr. Alfredo Galvez, renowned research scientist at the Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics at UC Davis and lead scientific advisor at the Missouri Plant Science Center.

What is the epigenome?
The genome is your body's complete set of DNA and genes. We have more than 300 cell types — skin cells, liver cells, brain cells, etc. — that look and function differently even though they have the same DNA.

The epigenome is made up of the DNA packaging material called histones and chemicals that tell the genome what to do. These chemicals can turn different genes on or off to create different types of cells. For example, the epigenome tells your skin cells to behave like skin cells, liver cells like liver cells, and so on.

Nutrition's Effect on DNA
The chemical compounds that comprise and affect the epigenome come from natural sources such as food, or man-made sources such as medicines. Research shows that changes in the epigenome can trigger diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

Our food provides nutrients necessary for methylation of DNA, an essential biochemical process that affects the expression of genes. DNA methylation can be improved or inhibited by our nutritional intake. For example, choline — a micronutrient found in cauliflower — can improve fetal brain development by improving DNA methylation.

The release of genes that cause inflammation can also be affected by nutrition. For example, resveratrol — a micronutrient found in grapes — can reduce symptoms of colitis by reducing the effect of inflammatory genes.

Lunasin: The Future of Nutritional Genomics
One of the most exciting discoveries in nutritional genomics is a soy peptide called lunasin.

Dozens of clinical studies have already documented lunasin's positive effects on the epigenome. A recent study from Purdue University showed how lunasin enhances innate immunity – the ability of the body to resist damaging effects from chemical, bacterial and viral toxins. Many more clinical studies are in the works as lunasin research continues at top institutions across the country.

"Changes in the epigenome can cause serious diseases. Lunasin attaches to the histones and helps the epigenome function properly, so that these changes do not occur in the cells," explained Galvez.

How Lunasin Works
Lunasin nourishes - provides the nutritional fuel to promote optimal expression of genes required for normal cell function.

Lunasin protects - reduces inflammation and cell damage caused by free radicals and other environmental hazards. Provides protection in two ways:


Prevention. Activates the expression of genes that help reduce cell damage and prevents the expression of genes that can cause cell damage.


Maintenance. Helps remove damaged cells from the body that may cause chronic health problems.

LunaRich Maximizes Lunasin Levels
Reliv International is bringing lunasin to the public through LunaRich™ soy powder. LunaRich maximizes lunasin content and contains five to ten times more lunasin than ordinary soy powder.

LunaRich is exclusively available from Reliv International, Inc. — a wellness company with a 25-year history of providing optimal nutritional supplements. Learn more at

About Reliv International, Inc.
Reliv International, based in Chesterfield, Mo., produces nutritional supplements that promote optimal nutrition along with premium skincare products. Reliv supplements address essential nutrition, weight loss, athletic performance, digestive health, women's health, anti-aging and healthy energy. The company sells its products through an international network marketing system of independent distributors in 15 countries. Learn more about Reliv at, or on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

SOURCE Reliv International, Inc.
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