SCIENCE: PINELLI PROJECT

The products of the Pinelli Project concept constitute a nutraceutical range aimed at the wellbeing not only of the eyes but also of the entire body, and are created exclusively from high quality raw materials.

In order to achieve an optimum range of efficacy of the products, it was decided to formulate Pinelli Retina Project® Plus, Pinelli Macula Project™ and Pinelli Immuno Project™ selecting dry extracts titrated in their characteristic active ingredients.

Titration is a process by which individual extracts are standardised to ensure a consistent and repeated supply of nutrients throughout the period of use of the product and throughout subsequent intake cycles.

The formulas developed by Dr. Roberto Pinelli were obtained by selecting medicinal plants from the herbal tradition, whose functionality, determined by the active ingredients they contain, has been confirmed by research conducted in the field of modern herbal medicine.

RESVERATROL

Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid phenol, a phytoalexin produced by certain plant species to protect plants from pathogens, especially fungi or bacteria. It is present in the skin of red grapes, grape juice, peanuts and pine nuts, mulberry, wild berries, and certain Chinese herbs. The highest concentrations are to be found in grape skins and tomatoes, especially dark green and black varieties. Resveratrol has strong antioxidant properties common to the class of polyphenols. Some phytoalexins among its molecules are active in the removal of atherosclerotic plaques. Their action can help protect us from cardiovascular diseases. The biological activities of this substance are varied. Resveratrol is considered an antioxidant, is active against certain free radicals, and prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. By virtue of these functions, resveratrol can be used against cellular ageing and in reducing cardiovascular risk. Researchers at the University of Florida – The Scripps Research Institute – have identified one of the molecular pathways that resveratrol uses to produce its beneficial action. Dr. Kendall Nettles’ research team found that resveratrol controls the body’s inflammatory response by binding to the estrogen receptor without stimulating estrogen cell proliferation, and is an effective inhibitor of the pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 protein. In ophthalmology, resveratrol plays a crucial role because of its anti-inflammatory power in the retina and as a regulator of eye circulation, both because of its antioxidant action and its protective activity against arterial deposits that lead to blood vessel sclerosis. It provides excellent support for various types of retinal diseases. The international peer-reviewed published literature in ophthalmology suggests supplementation with trace elements such as resveratrol to support the visual system.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Retina Project ® PLUS

BLUEBERRY

(also known as European blueberry, bilberry, myrtleberry, wimberry and whortleberry).

The blueberry is defined in botanical terms as Vaccinium myrtillus. It belongs to the Ericaceae family, to the genus Vaccinium and falls into the category of berries. Acclaimed since ancient times for its flavour and its use as a food in jams, sweets and drinks, it is also known for its exceptional antioxidant properties and for promoting an effective blood circulation, as well as for its regulating action on blood glucose. The anthocyanins in the small blue berries can inhibit the activity of certain enzymes that destroy collagen and the elastic tissues of the capillaries and vessels of the peripheral circulatory system, leading to their fragility and excessive permeability. For this reason, supplementation with pure blueberry extract is indicated to improve blood circulation. The berries contain many organic acids (malic, citric, etc.), sugars, tannins, pectin, vitamins A and C and, to a lesser extent, vitamin B and anthocyanic glucosides (myrtillin), which – in addition to giving the fruit its characteristic colour – reduce the permeability of the capillaries and strengthen the structure of the connective tissue that supports the blood vessels, improving their elasticity and tone. The ingredients contained in the phytocomplex give the blueberry its capillary-protective property, making it particularly suitable for the treatment of circulatory disorders, especially of venous origin, and in all cases of capillary fragility, especially in the retina. The protection of the microcirculation is at the basis of the use of blueberry in ophthalmology, where it is specifically applied to protect the retina, i.e, the nervous tissue responsible for vision, whose efficient vascularisation is the basis for the wellbeing of our eyes and visual acuity. These substances also favour and increase the speed of regenerating the retinal purpura (rhodopsin), which is the retinal pigment essential for vision in low light conditions, sharpening the eyesight especially in poorly-lit times, such as evening.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Retina Project ® PLUS, Pinelli Immuno Project TM

LUTEIN

Lutein is a natural substance belonging to the family of xanthophylls. This term describes a series of natural pigments that are widespread in the animal and vegetable kingdom, and are therefore present in many foods, particularly in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and cabbage, and egg yolk. Lutein has strong antioxidant properties for the body. It therefore acts by reducing the risks associated with the presence of free radicals. Lutein belongs to the carotenoid group, which includes beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Its presence is related to that of vitamin A. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the xanthophylls present in increased concentrations in the human body, particularly in plasma and tissue. Lutein also plays a fundamental role in ophthalmology, because it is concentrated in the eye tissue responsible for vision, the retina. Therefore its presence in adequate quantities is indispensable for good vision and eye health in general. The action of lutein is also expressed in the cardiovascular system, whose wellbeing is promoted by the intake of coloured fruits and vegetables containing lutein. Several studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants – and lutein falls squarely within this category of substances – can make a significant contribution to strengthening blood vessels, preventing a range of circulatory diseases and simultaneously improving microcirculation of the eye. Why does lutein have an influential effect on eye health? Because lutein, and other related substances such as zeaxanthin, are highly concentrated in the macula, the part of the retina responsible for distinct vision, which takes on an amber colour and is in fact called macular pigment (MP). This pigment plays an essential role in protecting the eye against photo-oxidative damage caused by natural blue light. Numerous studies have confirmed the preventive action of lutein against Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which causes a reduction in central vision, a function assigned to the macula.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Retina Project ® PLUS

CENTELLA ASIATICA

Centella asiatica is a plant belonging to the Apiaceae family, a vast family of plants that includes about 3000 species divided into 420 genera spread throughout the world’s temperate zones. The category to which Centella belongs is that of the Apiales, also known as Umbrelliferae, because of the shape of their leaves. Native to the Asian continent of the pantropical belt, it grows spontaneously in China, India, and Indonesia, but is also found in Australia and Africa, especially in humid and marshy environments, near rivers and watercourses. Today it is prevalent and cultivated in India, where it takes the name Gotu Kola. The leaves of Centella contain triterpenic acids (also known as Asian acid, madecassoside, madecassic acid and centelloside). These pentacyclic triterpenoids are generically called centelloside. Centella Asiatica also contains essential oils, flavonoids, phytosterols, tannins, mineral salts, and sugars. But it is above all the presence of triterpene saponins (asiaticoside, asian acid and madecassoside) that makes Centella Asiatica known for its beneficial effect on the peripheral circulation. This is why Centella Asiatica is considered the main remedy for fighting cell stagnation and has traditionally found widespread use in cellulite cases. Consumption of this plant makes it possible to preserve the structure and tone of the vessel walls thanks to its phlebotonic activity. In fact Centella, reinforcing and elasticizing the walls of the blood vessels, favours a healthy peripheral circulation and is therefore indicated to prevent and treat varicose veins, reducing the dilation of the veins, capillary permeability, and subcutaneous oedema. It exerts a beneficial effect on venous insufficiency and therefore on the swelling and heaviness in the legs and ankles that result from it. It is also beneficial in the presence of capillaries visible on the surface of the skin. It acts mainly by preserving the structure and tone of the vessel walls due to its stimulating the synthesis of collagen by fibroblasts. A typical plant of the Indian and Ayurvedic medical tradition, it has traditionally been used in dermatology and cosmetics, including as a soothing and healing agent for wounds, burns and injuries. The applications of Centella asiatica in ophthalmology derive from its antibacterial and antifungal abilities and above all because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective activity. This makes it a support for the retina, the ocular nervous tissue that makes it possible to perceive images and, in collaboration with the brain of which it is part, to process them. Centella is also recognised as having a marked anti-diabetic potential, and its use has proved beneficial in the presence of diabetic retinopathy. Also popularly known as the “Tiger Grass”, Centella asiatica is a herbaceous plant whose height varies between 5 and 15 centimetres with small, regular, rounded bright green leaves, and a circumference of between 2 and 4 centimetres. Therefore, it has a small leaf which although delicate in appearance, possesses great power, containing very effective active principles for the retina with a protective capacity against submacular vorticose veins and therefore, indirectly, prevents generalised oedemas and also presumably perimacular oedema. It plays a protective role regarding retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Retina Project ® PLUS, Pinelli Immuno Project TM, Pinelli Macula Project TM

EMBLICA OFFICINALIS

Emblica officinalis is a plant originating from India, used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antioxidant properties. The plant bears decorative yellowish-green fruits, which are also used in India for food and cosmetic purposes. It has been shown to be beneficial in age-associated degenerative diseases. It is in fact referred to as a substance that promotes the longevity of the organ structures and has proven to be effective in the treatment of diabetes. For this reason, Emblica officinalis, also called Amla, is beneficial to the eyes, as it reduces the retinal complications from diabetes and exerts a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action on the eye structures. The antioxidant function of Emblica officinalis derives from the significant presence of tannoid substances (tannins) and the high percentage of vitamin C, which the plant possesses in even higher quantities than those in oranges. This makes Emblica officinalis a substance particularly indicated in the presence of pure maculopathy and/or diabetic maculopathy.

 

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Retina Project ® PLUS, Pinelli Immuno Project TM

QUERCETIN

Quercetin is a flavonoid belonging to the group of flavonols, which are found in many vegetables such as hawthorn, calendula, horse chestnut, St. John’s wort, and ginkgo biloba. Quercetin is also present in varying percentages in some common foods: red grapes and red wine, blueberries, apples, celery, radicchio, red onions, green tea, and capers. Quercetin is known to inhibit the action of several intracellular enzymes involved in cell proliferation and inflammation. Because of these characteristics, it has been studied by experimental oncologists, looking into the mechanisms responsible for cell proliferation and its antagonists. An international study, in which the Italian National Research Council also took part, demonstrated the ability of quercetin to inhibit the SARS-Cov2 virus (Covid-19) (International Journal of Biological Macromolecules volume 164, 1 December 2020, pages 1693 – 1703). Quercetin is a natural antioxidant that counteracts free radicals and exerts an anti-inflammatory action. Several experiments carried out in vitro, in animals, and on human blood, by researchers at the University of Florida, have demonstrated that bioflavonoids, particularly some of those in citrus fruits, are effective natural agents against thrombosis. Bioflavonoids, especially blueberry anthocyanosides, are also effective against vision disorders: they can improve twilight vision and reduce glare. They are therefore valuable in counteracting retinal disorders of hypertensive and diabetic origin, and in developmental myopia.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Macula Project TM

MELILOTUS

Melilotus (sweet clover) is an officinal plant (Melilotus Officinalis) of the Leguminosae family, and has a stem of about eighty centimeters high, dotted with small yellow flowers and pods that make up the fruits. Particularly indicated for the treatment of venous and lymphatic insufficiency, melilotus has a remarkable effect on vessel tone, due to the significant presence of coumarins, as well as possessing anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-edematous properties. The coumarins present in melilotus exert a phlebotonic effect, i. e. they are able to increase the venous tone, decrease the permeability of capillaries and increase their resistance. This improves the performance of the blood vessels. The anti-edematous action of coumarins present in melilotus flowers is indicated in association with flavonoids, for those individuals with venous insufficiency. Galen had already included melilotus among the range of therapeutic drugs and its action is particularly beneficial to the eyes in combination with quercetin for disorders of the retina, in particular the macula, resulting from an insufficiently functioning microcirculation.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Macula Project TM

ASHWAGANDHA

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is a substance that has been used for thousands of years. It is widely employed in Ayurvedic medicine for its properties, which are primarily applied in boosting the immune system and therefore the ability to cope with stress factors, be these environmental or emotional, as well as in enhancing strength and energy. In Sanskrit, the name Ashwagandha refers to strength and vigour, and was prescribed for those in the process of recovery to reinvigorate the immune system after an illness. This is why it is successfully used to: boost the body’s immune defences; eliminate toxins associated with mood changes (anxiety and depression); support the body when faced with situations that call upon a considerable amount of psychophysical energy needed to cope with a disease; practise sport; concentrate while studying, and improve memory during exams. The Ashwagandha plant is a herbaceous shrub that stands as tall as a person, and prefers a warm climate. In some regions of the world, it grows wild: for example in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and India. Elsewhere, it is cultivated; this is the case in some areas of Africa and Mediterranean Europe. Italy is one of the main producers of this vegetable, which belongs to the Solanaceae family, which included tomatoes and aubergines. Sicily and Sardinia offer the most favourable environment for it to flourish. At present, the part of the Ashwagandha plant which is mainly used is the root. However, several studies are under way to assess the efficacy of the small oval leaves and the round fruits with their known properties, and which reflect the light yellow flowering. They change colour as they ripen, ranging from green, yellow and orange to deep red. The Ashwagandha root contains withanolides, which belong to the lactone group, as well as alkaloids, amino acids, iron and sugars. In addition to protecting the immune system, the plant also possesses antioxidant properties. This means that its components can reduce cell damage caused by free radicals and thus protect all the cells in the body, including neurons. Its ability to combat brain degeneration has led to the development of numerous studies regarding its use in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Ashwaganda has been described as an adaptogenic plant, because it is able to adapt to and compensate for all manner of changes that affect our psychological and physical equilibrium. Its adaptogenic characteristics also make it suitable for thyroid deficiencies such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. Conversely, it may be contraindicated in hyperthyroidism, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. It is also known as Indian Ginseng, although it does not share its botanical qualities.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

CAMU CAMU

Camu Camu is a wild shrub-like plant found in the Amazon regions of Peru and Brazil, and which grows near watercourses. Its red and purple berries are edible and are highly prized by the natives of the Amazon rainforest who make great use of them, notwithstanding their somewhat bitter taste. They are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Their high vitamin C content prompts their use in the cold season to prevent or counteract viral flu-like illnesses, as they have the ability to boost the body’s immune system. Camu Camu is also known to have considerable anti-inflammatory properties. It is therefore also used in arthritis, gingivitis, and all inflammatory conditions of the muscles, tendons and eyes (keratitis, for example). No contraindications have been found for taking Camu Camu as part of a multi-ingredent diet. Taken on its own, its acidic, citrus-like taste may stimulate the production of gastric juices, so its use needs to be carefully assessed for those suffering from gastritis, hiatal hernia and gastric ulcer.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

ECHINACEA

Echinacea is native to North America, where it is widely distributed. It is a plant which can be easily cultivated and is also found in Europe and in Italy. It is a perennial which flowers in the summer, and enters a period of vegetative rest during the winter. It features a stem with a height varying from 50 cm. to 1.5 metres with lanceolate leaves usually covered by a light down. In fact, there are many species of Echinacea, which demonstrate a certain morphological variability, in terms of flower colour, leaf structure and stem height. Among these species, the most interesting ones in the phytochemical field are Echinacea Purpurea and Echinacea Pallida. Echinacea has been in use since ancient times. It was used by American Indians to treat sores, wounds and traumas of different types; it was also used to relieve skin disorders, in particular the rashes arising from chicken pox, measles and herpes. Besides its anti-infective wound-healing properties, Echinacea is known for its role in protecting the immune system. Consequently, in addition to external use for its soothing, re-epithelizing and phytocosmetic effects, Echinacea is also used systemically to treat colds and fight flu symptoms. These properties have been recognised by the EMEA, the European Medicines Agency. The action of Echinacea is due to its components: flavonoids, such as quercetin and luteolin, and certain derivatives of caffeic acid, such as echinacoside, which exerts a specific antibiotic and bacteriostatic action that can hinder the development of bacteria and counteract the penetration of viruses into healthy cells. Echinacein, on the other hand, is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

ICELAND MOSS

Cetraria islandica is a species of fruticose soil lichen typical of mountainous areas. It has a leafy thallus with lobes, is up to 10-15 cm high, and has a cartilaginous consistency, light olive green in the upper part, and greyish-white in the lower part. Iceland moss contains polysaccharides and bitter lichenic acids (usnic acid, cetraric acid), folic acid, and several B vitamins. Iceland moss contains lichenin, which has respiratory decongestant properties and plays a protective role against coughs and sore throats. Usnic acid gives the plant antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which aid in kidney, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule present in human cells. It is widespread throughout the body and for this reason it has been given a name that has to do with its ubiquitous role, it is in fact also called ubiquinone, and also unquinone. Coenzyme Q10 plays a key role in the production of energy through the ATP process that harnesses the energy power inherent in food, and stores it in specific molecules so that the body always has the energy resources available needed to perform physiological functions. Its presence may be insufficient in the presence of events that put a strain on the resources of our body: disease, psychophysical stress, prolonged intake of drugs, or exposure to pollutants or toxic substances. For this reason, its presence in a nutraceutical that strengthens the body’s immune defenses plays an important role in ensuring the energy supply necessary to cope with any exposure to pathogenic agents. Research has shown the positive role played by coenzyme Q10 – also known as vitamin Q – on the cardiovascular system. In addition, coenzyme Q10 deficiency is found in those with chronic migraine, and sufferers in fact derive relief from its intake. Coenzyme Q10 is also recognized to be capable of soothing asthenia and physical and muscular fatigue, and is known to play an important role in reducing oxidative stress due to the presence of free radicals.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

ROOIBOS

 

Rooibos is commonly referred to as red tea. In fact, it is not a tea, but a plant with reddish leaves which is found in South Africa. Rooibos in fact means “red bush”, a term that originates from Afrikaans, one of the South African languages. The shrub only grows in a specific region of South Africa, the Cederberg, and is the official South African drink. It is a rosemary-like shrub, consisting of thin branches with short, needle-like leaves. It has a deep yellow inflorescence made up of small, leaf-shaped flowers which are close together and overhang the branch to form a coloured ball of many flowers. The leaves are the parts which are used, and take on a reddish colour as a result of the grinding, drying and fermentation process, giving the infusion a beautiful amber colour. It contains no caffeine, and is particularly good for promoting sleep. Its known antioxidant properties derive from the presence of polyphenols, which counteract the formation of free radicals in the body. Rooibos also has antiviral and anti-inflammatory qualities. The scientific name for Rooibos is Aspalathus linearis. The plant belongs to the legume family, and does not contain tannins, thus having a sweet and pleasant taste. It also contains significant amounts of flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamin C and minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron and phosphorus. These ingredients provide Rooibos with its most important benefit, namely its ability to modulate and strengthen the immune system, thereby helping to prevent the onset of diseases or to fight their effects.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

UNCARIA TOMENTOSA

Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) is an imposing plant. It is found in the Amazon rainforest and looks like a huge woody vine that can reach up to 30 metres in height. Its name derives from the characteristic of its leaves, which are equipped with a few hook-like protuberances (the Latin word Uncus, means “a hook”). These protruberances hook onto other plants as they strive to gain light – which only penetrates very dimly through the dense vegetation of the Amazon forest. The Uncaria has yellow flowers, the calyx and corolla resembling the shape of a funnel. This plant belongs to the Rubiaceae family, and its root and bark are used for their well-known immunostimulant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimutagenic properties. The mechanism that makes this function possible stems from Uncaria’s ability to act on human endothelial cells into which are delivered pentacyclic alkaloids that promote the regulation and proliferation of B and T lymphocytes, which control the body’s immune response.
Uncaria is used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, immune deficiencies (studies have found an increased antibody response in HIV) and has been used in cancer, in addition to chemotherapy, due to its ability to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. It is effective in cases of viral infections, even chronic ones (e.g. herpes), and therefore in viral-based colds, which manifest themselves as colds, coughs and fevers, as well as in autoimmune diseases.
In Central America, where it is common in the tropical forests of the Andes, the local people call it “cat’s claw” (uña de gato) because its protuberances resemble fingernails; since ancient times, leaves and infusions have been used to prepare herbal bark teas to fight infections and prevent them when they occur in the population. Healers in Peru and Brazil use it to close wounds, heal sores, alleviate intestinal and stomach pain and reduce the damage of degenerative diseases.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM

ZINC

Zinc is present in the human body in large proportions, and is the most abundant mineral after iron. Zinc is involved in several enzymatic processes, and is a key contributor to stimulating the immune system through its action on the thymus. Zinc acts by repairing ulcers and small wounds, which can also arise in the oropharynx when the immune system is under stress, during convalescence, or because of drug treatment. Its immunostimulant action derives from its ability to inhibit the action of free radicals, combating the ageing process of cells.

Used in the following product formulations: Pinelli Immuno Project TM