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More and more the consensus is to not do animal testing.  It is usually cruel in some fashion or another no matter how kind or wonderful the researchers are.  That is just the nature of testing and research.  Quite often the researchers are testing drugs or new products that could cause or cure a disease.  So how could that ever be humane.

The problem: How do you test the validity and effectiveness of these new drugs and products before you put them on the market for humans to use.

Clinical studies have become the “Gold” standard for determining the effectiveness of these new drugs and nutrition products.  It was often difficult to achieve the goal without performing tests and so animals were nominated as test subjects.

This was the problem and one companies solution to the problem.

The Shaklee Corporation has made a commitment not to use any animal studies in the testing of their products.

Recently they had to come up with a very ingenious plan for there latest research project in order to maintain this commitment of no animal testing.  I thought it was pretty impressive, and if you are an animal lover you might think so too!

Shaklee has an immune boosting supplement called Nutriferon.  They wanted to do some basic research on how Nutriferon might work to prevent viral infections in the lungs.  They asked research scientists from Cornell University to help them conduct these experiments.

Cornell has some of the world’s top experts in the field of immunology and the development of model systems that can be used instead of relying on animal studies.  A perfect fit for what Shaklee wanted to have done.

In order to conduct the research properly, the scientists from Cornell asked Shaklee to support some of their research into developing a model system that would simulate the layers of cells that line the lungs and windpipe.  This would keep the research animal free while still allowing the research to see how cells would respond to viral infections.

Even though developing this model did not involve any Shaklee products and was really of no direct benefit to Shaklee, the company agreed to support its development.

Well, long story short, the Cornell scientists have already used this new model to show how the lungs respond to a particular type of parainfluenza virus that is responsible for croup and bronchitis in children.

So Shaklee, a health and wellness company, was indirectly involved in creating a model to further science that can help people (kids in this case) stay healthier.  This research didn’t do anything to sell more products or make more money, it was research for the good of people.  (I think that is pretty cool.)

Now of coarse the reason all this came up in the first place is because Shaklee was interested in performing research to determine how Nutriferon helps the lungs resist infection by flu viruses.

The final results of that study have not been published yet, but the study did show that Nutriferon activates “natural killer cells” when a flu virus infects lung tissue.

This is significant because natural killer cells are an important player when it comes to “killing” a flu virus.  Nutriferon had already been shown to help fight viral infections but it was never known how it did this.  This research is one more important piece of the puzzle that shows the Nutiferon is effective.

This is just one more example showing that large corporations can do well for themselves while doing good for the community and mankind.

It is something to think about!