Rain International and the truth about seed nutrition

Rain International is seed nutrition at its finest.

They’re one of the many nutritional MLMs based in Utah, but these guys do things a little differently. They take seed nutrition to the next level for all sorts of health benefits. Have I been involved?

This video explains:

 

All good? Let’s continue…

Overview

I like what they’re doing, because they’re thinking outside the box from typical MLM juices. They sell drink packets which offer health benefits from natural ingredients derived from seeds.

Launching back in 2009, Rain has had a few years to work out the kinks in their seed nutrition company. With a ton of other nutrition MLMs coming out of Utah, it can be tough to stand out in the competitive industry.

This company finds their unique angle, like many other MLMs, in their product line.

Products

Currently, there are two products: “Soul” and “Core“.

Soul is the flagship and original product, and its efficacy is based on three ingredients: black cumin seed, chardonnay grape seed and black raspberry seed.

Rain International has based its business on the potential of seeds to deliver health benefits. Let’s investigate the health claims made by Rain International (RI) by analyzing the body of data scientists have so far produced on these three seeds:

Black cumin seed

There’s a very long history of black cumin seed being used in traditional medicinal systems all over the world. Native to south and southwest Asia, it is believed by proponents of alternative and traditional medicine to be a “miracle spice”.

Nigella sativa

The seeds come from a flowering plant called Nigella sativa (N. sativa), which is classified as a “medicinal spice”. The spice from the seeds is also used in Indian and Middle Eastern food, although it is a separate plant from what we commonly know as “cumin”. Interestingly, it is an ingredient in string cheese[¹].

But the medicinal value is what we’re after, and this has been and is currently being tested by scientists who seek to pin down and harness Nigella sativa’s potential for treating human disease.

So far, the outlook is very promising but more research on humans is needed.

Antibacterial activity

Since the main claim of Rain International is that black cumin seeds protect the body from illness (“health challenges”, as they put it), let’s see how these claims hold up. Indeed, one of the clearest benefits observed in labs was the antibacterial activity of ground black seeds. In the research, this benefit was attributed to the presence of thymoquinone (TQ) and melanin.[³]

Antifungal activity

N. sativa has also been found in lab mice to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, a fungus. This supports the traditional medicinal claims of N. sativa as a treatment for fungal skin infections. It can rightfully be called an anti-yeast agent.

As an anti-schistosomiasis agent

N. sativa was also shown in labs to have an adverse effect on parasitic worms in the liver and intestines of mice. This was due to the strong anti-oxidant properties of the compound.[4]

Antidiabetic Activity

N. Sativa was shown in labs to significantly reduce blood glucose levels ( that’s a desired effect for diabetics) and to increase insulin levels (also a good thing)[5]. It must be combined with a-lipoic acid, L-carnitine, and it has not yet been proven which compound is the key factor in these results. Like the other studies we found, this has only been proven in lab animals (mice or rats).

Thymoquinone and cancer

As noted above, main active ingredient in black cumin is thymoquinone. This phytochemical compound is found only in the plant Nigella sativa and a few other plants. Since it’s thought to be an anticancer compound, much research has been conducted. The body of data collected is large enough now that researchers are actually ready to move to the clinical experiment phase…which means out of the lab and on to actual testing on animals and eventually humans.

That’s great news for cancer patients, but at this point there is nothing conclusive, since the scientific process hasn’t quite made it to the point where we can conclusively say anything about the anti-cancer properties of thymoquinone.

In a scientific review of thymoquinone in black seeds, one researcher concluded that:

“There is no doubt that cancer research has demonstrated the therapeutic potential of TQ against breast cancer cell lines…”[²]

Other benefits

A review of the research also indicates the following health benefits to have been scientifically evidenced in laboratory settings on lab animals[6]:

  • anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity
  • immunomodulatory activity (anti-tumor)
  • cardiovascular activity (prevented lung problems due to diesel exhaust particles in mice)
  • gastro-protective activity
  • hepato-protective activity (helps the liver)
  • nephroprotective activity (protects the renal system)
  • pulmonary protective activity and anti-asthmatic effects
  • testicular protective activity
  • neruo-pharmacological activities
  • anticonvulsant activity

The list goes on, indicating a extremely wide variety of medicinal potential for black cumin seeds.

Chardonnay grape seed

The claim made by RI is that the chardonnay grape seeds in their products promote brain health. Here’s what the scientific body of knowledge gives us to support those claims.

Chardonnay grape seeds, like other types of grape seeds, contain flavenoids. Study after study on flavenoids has shown that they do have the potential to have a positive health effect as an antioxidant. Chardonnay grape seeds in particular has a special type of flavenoid called proanthocyanidins.

What does the scientific community think of proanthocyanidins?

First of all, they are present in a lot of plants. Secondly, their bioavailabilty and metabolism data are scarce, which means scientists just don’t have much data to go on yet, in order to make any claims. But what data there is, looks hopeful.

The research specifically done to test the health benefits of proanthocyanidins, however, has all been in the lines of weight loss, where it shows promise due to the oxidative stress-reducing properties[7].

There is no scientific evidence or even any lab studies found that support specific brain benefits of chardonnay grape seeds, although much can be found on its general anti-oxidative properties.

Black raspberry seed

RI’s claim is that their products are effective partly due to black raspberry seeds. They contain ellagitanins and anthocyanins, which RI claims support bodily functions and overall good health. These are antioxidants, for sure, but do they help us in any specific way, in the way that RI claims?

As for ellagitannins, which are also present in pomegranates, strawberries, walnuts, and almonds, evidence suggests that they may be helpful in protecting against some chronic diseases, but the lab results don’t yet support the suggestions.

For anthocyanins, scientists have witnessed its ability to protect against human diseases, but so far have not been able to reproduce these activities in a laboratory setting[8]. Therefore, scientific evidence is inconclusive. They are very difficult to study because they break down very easily in the body.

Recap

Scientific evidence does support a general overall benefit of consuming the seeds found in Soul. However, the specific benefits claimed by RI for these seeds is not yet fully supported by scientific evidence. Therefore, while it is probably a healthful supplement product, it may not perform up to the general expectations of the public, based on marketing material produced by Rain International.

If you know a lot about seed nutrition and you’re set on going the MLM route, this isn’t a bad one to join at all.

But if it’s just the income opportunity that excites you, there are more profitable options that would be better worth your time…

Our coaching teaches you how to live the good life without schemish MLM recruiting tactics.

References

  1. “Nigella sativa”. Wikipedia. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella_sativa#cite_note-BSBI07-2
  2. AbuKhader, Majed M. “Thymoquinone in the clinical treatment of cancer: Fact or Fiction?”. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3841989/.
  3. Bakathir HA, Abbbas NA. “Detection of the antibacterial effect of Nigella sativa ground seeds with water.” US National Library of Medicine, NIH. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22238497/.
  4. El Shenawy NS, Soliman MF, Reyad SI. “The effect of antioxidant properties of aqueous garlic extract and Nigella sativa as anti-schistosomiasis agents in mice.” US National Library of Medicine NIH. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18327484/.
  5. Salama RH. “Hypoglycemic effect of lipoic Acid, carnitine and nigella sativa in diabetic rat model.” US National Library of Medicine NIH. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23267290/.
  6. Aftb Ahmad et al. “A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: a miracle herb.” US National Library of Medicine. NIH. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3642442/.
  7. Decorde K. et al. “Chardonnay grape seed procyanidin extract supplementation prevents high-fat diet-induced obesity in hamsters by improving adipokine imbalance and oxidative stress markers.” US National Library of Medicine NIH. Retrieved 7/31/ 2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19035554.
  8. Lila, Mary Ann. “Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Investigation Approach. US National Library of Medicine NIH. Retrieved 7/31/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/