SOURCE: Health Enhancement Products, Inc.

November 20, 2013 08:00 ET

Health Enhancement Products, Inc. Sponsored Research at University of Wisconsin - Madison Yields Positive Results in Bovine Mastitis Testing, Report From Lead Researcher States

MADISON, WI--(Marketwired - Nov 20, 2013) - Health Enhancement Products, Inc. (OTCBB: HEPI), which investigates and licenses algae-derived, high-value bioactive molecules that benefit human and animal health, has received the results of the first phase of research on the company's bovine mastitis remedy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Dairy Science. Laura Hernandez, PhD, has concluded the first phase of the study and validated the bioactivity of HEPI's compounds. She has issued a formal report under the aegis of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Dr. Hernandez is a recognized lactation researcher and expert with bovine in vitro models at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Dairy Science. "We validated the bioactivity of HEPI compounds with bovine mammary gland epithelial cells that were stimulated with bacterial endotoxins that are representative of the broad spectrum of pathogens that commonly cause acute, as well as chronic, mastitis," Dr. Hernandez said. "HEPI compounds induced production or inhibition of various immune and inflammatory markers in a statistically significant manner." 

The next phase of the study sponsored by HEPI is focused on validating the efficacy of various dosage levels of the product formulations being developed by other HEPI scientists.

The anti-inflammatory and auto-immune properties of HEPI compounds could help alleviate a severe or prolonged proinflammatory state resulting from bovine mastitis and promote a more rapid return to health and wellness in the animal. Furthermore, these results suggest that naturally produced HEPI compounds may help prevent over-use of antibiotic treatments for mastitis and limit loss of milk.

Milk from animals with clinical signs of infection or animals receiving antibiotic treatment is not suitable for human consumption. Intra-mammary infection is confirmed when somatic cell count levels (SCC) in milk exceed 200,000. Mastitis infections create operating losses from discarded milk, reduction in milk yield, premature culling of animals, and replacement animals. The condition is typically caused by infective bacterial or mycotic pathogens. Its frequency and economic impact makes it the most common and costly disease affecting dairy cattle. While the numbers vary depending upon which aspect of bovine mastitis is being studied, it is widely accepted that the economic impact is $2.8 billion in production losses per year in the US alone. Furthermore, the problem extends globally, with nearly 244 million cows at risk worldwide. The US dairy herd of 9 million represents only 3% of the global dairy herd.

The current study at the University of Wisconsin revealed that HEPI compounds decreased the release of proinflammatory cytokines (a type of signaling molecule involved in a variety of biological processes, including the inflammatory and immune responses) responsible for the chronic inflammatory response in bovine mastitis, such as TNF-alpha, IL1beta, and IL-6. When the inflammatory response is severe, long lasting, or recurring, it can result in necrosis of the mammary parenchymal tissue and loss of milk production. Even short-lived infections can result in a prolonged, highly proinflammatory state. IL-1beta in particular, can act synergistically to enhance the effects of other cytokines, as well as itself. Imbalances in this fine-tuned regulatory system lead to chronic inflammation that is damaging, and at times, even fatal to the animal. HEPI compounds may help maintain or restore this balance following the immune response.

"What many people may not realize is that mastitis-causing microbes themselves are not harmful. As the microbes divide or are killed off by antibiotic treatment they release fragments that drive the cow's innate immune response and result in the release of proinflammatory cytokines," said Amy Steffek, PhD, HEPI Director of Research & Development. "Ironically, the traditional treatment to subdue the infection may actually fuel the proinflammatory response by killing and breaking down the bacteria, resulting in an increase of these immune-evoking pieces. This explains why the clinical signs of infection (inflammation) typically outlast the infection itself."

The completed report contains specific proprietary and confidential details and therefore will not be fully disclosed by HEPI, which sponsored the research, until all appropriate IP protections are in place. It will also be provided to potential development partners, in conjunction with the genetic work that HEPI contracted after the fact.

About Health Enhancement Products, Inc.

Health Enhancement Products, Inc. is a health and wellness company engaged in the development of algae-derived, natural products for use as dietary supplements and food ingredients. The company has developed a portfolio of natural, bioactive compounds wholly owned by Health Enhancement Products and protected by patents, patents pending, and trade secrets, which are licensed to manufacturers. These natural products are extracted from living algae grown in purified water.

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