For millennia, humans have sought and cultivated plants as a source of food. In the course of human evolution, it became apparent that many plants also produced substances that prevented or cured disease. Knowledge regarding the curative powers of plants or plant extracts became enshrined in what is now known as “traditional medicine,” even though the way these substances worked was not known. Today it is common knowledge that plant-derived products, such as vitamin C (derived from a variety of fruits and vegetables), aspirin (derived from the bark of the Willow tree - Salix sp.), and taxol (a potent anti-cancer drug derived from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree - Taxus brevifolia) are important tools of modern medicine. More recently, it has become highly publicized that plants like the one producing green tea (Camellia sinensis) are great sources of beneficial antioxidants.
In traditional Japanese medicine, tea made from pine cones was frequently prescribed to ward off common illnesses. For the past two decades, the mission of the TBRI has been to identify its active ingredient, determine its mechanism of action and apply its curative powers for human use. Current studies indicate that a highly enriched fraction of the pine cone extract acts to bolster the immune system, and significant progress is being made in understanding its mode of action.
Our detailed scientific analysis of the pine cone extract (PPC) has resulted in the award of fourteen patents to TBRI’s scientists, with several other patents pending. In light of these efforts, Allera Health Products, Inc. signed a proprietary licensing agreement with TBRI in September 2006. This company introduced a new dietary supplement to the market in October 2006, which is derived from PPC and has been termed ImmuneExtraTM
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A MEDICINAL PINE CONE EXTRACT FROM ANCIENT GREECE AND JAPAN
NATURAL PRODUCT BASED THERAPEUTICS
Since 1995 TBRI’s focus has been on the development of natural product-based therapeutics that, through the engagement and modulation of the immune system, could be effective in the cure and prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. Unleashing Nature’s Power to Cure reflects the philosophy TBRI follows in the fulfillment of its mission. This philosophy encompasses the synergistic blending of cutting-edge Western biomedical research with the insights gleaned from the study of Eastern medicine’s use of traditional natural remedies. This two-pronged research program, known as integrative medicine, seeks to rapidly translate promising laboratory results into improved treatment and prevention strategies for a number of serious and chronic medical conditions, most notably cancer.
TBRI has an abundance of anecdotal evidence and testimonials that its pine cone extract (Immune Extra) used alone or in combination with other immune therapies is showing promising results including cures, extending lives and managing chronic symptoms with people suffering with HIV, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and allergies.
Research performed at TBRI is guided by the founding vision, carefully assessing opportunities to prevent and combat disease through a synergistic blend of cutting-edge Western biomedical research and the insights provided by the use of natural remedies commonly associated with the practice of Eastern medicine over several millennia. Such two-pronged research programs seek to rapidly translate promising laboratory results into improved treatment and prevention strategies for a number of serious and chronic medical conditions.
For more more than 20 years, our Co-Founders, Dr. Akiko Tanaka and Dr. Meihan Nonoyama, conducted pioneering research that uncovered the links between virus infections and certain cancers. Thus, from its inception in 1981, the focus of the Institute’s research has been on exploring the connection between infectious agents and the induction of cancer, as well as to more fully understand the molecular biology of viruses such as herpes, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
Since 1981, TBRI has trained a number of doctoral and post-doctoral scientists and has collaborated with several universities and institutes to further advance our research projects. Over the years the Institute has played a leading role in developing its fields of research and has hosted numerous international conferences that have addressed various aspects of infectious diseases, cancer and biotechnology.
In 1989, TBRI became the first research institute in the state of Florida to receive a grant to study HIV/AIDS. Subsequently, TBRI received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the “New Drug Development for HIV/AIDS” program. This grant led to a comprehensive study of a plant extract derived from the pinecone, PPC (a polyphenylpropanoid-polysaccharide complex) found to block HIV from infecting cells in vitro.