Pinoy scientist cops US Stevie award
Danny B. Dangcalan (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2013 - 12:00am

BACOLOD City , Philippines   â€“ A nutritional product made from the anti-cancer properties of soybeans developed by a Filipino scientist was awarded the 2013 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Consumer Product and a bronze Stevie Award at the 11th American Business Awards in San Francisco last Sept. 16.

Filipino research geneticist Alfredo Galvez received the award for LunaRich X, which he developed in partnership with Reliv International, manufacturer of patented nutritional supplements.

A research scientist at the Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics at the University of California in Davis, and director of research for the Missouri Plant Science Center in Mexico, Galvez said Lunasin’s discovery was a “lucky mistake.”

Galvez shared that he discovered an extraordinary plant peptide as an accidental by-product of the work conducted in a gene cloning laboratory at the University of California in Berkeley in 1996.

He named the by-product Lunasin – a Filipino word for “to heal” or “to remedy” –-which was shown to disrupt cancer cell division and prevent tumor formation.

He conducted further research on the cancer-inhibiting peptide and found that Lunasin, in its bioactive form, had the ability to essentially turn off the bad genes, and turn on the good genes in our bodies. In other words, Lunasin, found in miniscule quantities in soybeans, makes cells less receptive to disease.

Galvez’s findings were published in the Journal of Cancer Research and other prestigious journals. Since then, Lunasin has become one of the most heavily researched and scientifically supported nutritional compounds available today, with more than 50 published papers from more than 25 research institutions.

Lunasin is a naturally occurring peptide that has been identified as responsible for many of soy’s documented health benefits, including cholesterol support and general cellular health, Galvez added.

Lunasin is one of the first bioactive compounds identified to affect expression and promote optimum health at the epigenetic level. The epigenome, which literally means “beyond the genome,” is a higher level of complexity within the cell, he explained.

Last Thursday, Galvez presented to 30 medical doctors in Bacolod the Lunasin technology.

He explained how the Lunasin technology is applicable to their various disciplines and discussed possible clinical trials in the country.

Galvez said LunaRich X was the only nutritional product honored in the 2013 US Stevie Awards. The online poll for Favorite New Products had more than 20,000 votes cast for its 34 product categories.

Galvez was born and raised in San Fernando, La Union. He finished both his BS in Plant Physiology and Genetics and MS in Genetics and Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, and his PhD in Plant Physiology and Genetics at the University of California in Davis.

Galvez was one of the outstanding Filipino-Americans in science and technology honored by President Aquino at the 2010 Philippine Development Foundation awards.                     


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