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Scientists Develop New Method to Mine Cancer-Fighting Soy Peptide

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed a procedure to extract the potentially cancer-fighting peptide, lunasin, from soybean seeds.

Lunasin has been shown in laboratory tests to inhibit certain cancerous cells and has shown anti-inflammatory activity that may aid in the battle against other chronic diseases. The challenge, however, has been that it is costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive to extract lunasin in high enough quantities to use in testing – until now.

The new procedure, developed by Hari Krishnan and Thomas Wang of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Plant Genetics Research Unit, requires less than two hours and allows scientist to extract lunasin in quantities large enough to conduct large-scale animal and human clinical trials.

The new procedure emerges as increased attention has been placed on the role of soy and soy product consumption may play in reducing breast, colon and other cancers and stands to expedite researchers ability to study lunasin for its potenitally significant health benefits.

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