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Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), Chief Scientific Officer

Gene Bruno Gene Bruno

Nutraland USA, Inc.
9267 Research Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (949) 988-7615

Nutraland USA is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of functional ingredients for nutraceutical, cosmeceutical and F&B industries. Established in Irvine, CA, in 2011, Nutraland USA has been dedicated to offering science-based and plant-based innovative ingredients not only good for the health, but also good for the Earth.

Gene Bruno, a professor emeritus of nutraceutical science with Huntington University of Health Sciences currently serves as chief scientific officer of Nutraland USA, Inc. With graduate degrees in nutrition and herbal medicine, he is a 45-year veteran of the dietary supplement industry, as well as an award-winning formulator. Bruno has developed natural products for dozens of dietary supplement companies, educated and trained natural product retailers and health care professionals, and written hundreds of articles on nutrition, herbal medicine, nutraceuticals and integrative health issues for trade, consumer and peer-reviewed publications, as well as authoring books and textbook chapters.

NIE: Nutraland USA recently introduced Somato. Please explain details about the ingredient and the benefits it offers.

Bruno: Somato is the industry’s first whole food derived melatonin from tomato (providing 5 percent melatonin). To be clear, this isn’t standard synthetic melatonin blended with tomatoes nor is it synthetic melatonin fermented with tomatoes. This is naturally occurring melatonin extracted from tomatoes, a plant source of this nutraceutical.1 It is non-GMO (genetically modified organism), proposition 65 compliant for heavy metals, free of the nine U.S. allergens and, of course, vegan.

A couple of interesting facts: 1) There is published research has demonstrated that supplementation with ordinary tomatoes before bedtime increased circulating melatonin and improved sleep quality;2 2) Somato also provides naturally occurring lycopene. The value of this is that lower intakes of lycopene have been found to be associated with lower levels of sleep3 and sleeping issues.4 Consequently, the natural combination of melatonin bodes well for sleep support.

NIE: The company focuses on science and clinical research. What are some of the recent studies that Nutraland USA has conducted?

Bruno: Nutraland USA just completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial with 300-plus human subjects on the sleep benefits of our other plant-derived melatonin, Somnatural from St. John’s wort. The data is still being compiled, but we’re excited to share the results once that is done. We have another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial with 300-plus human subjects scheduled to begin on the cognitive benefits of our Miricell rice germ polyamines. We also have a pilot study scheduled to examine the autophagy-promoting effects of Miricell rice germ polyamines.

Just last year we commissioned a study5 to determine the cellular proliferation rate and telomere length in cultures of human adult primary fibroblasts treated with Miricell rice germ polyamines. The results of this study were that, under both normal and oxidative conditions, telomere shortening rate was lower in Miricell treated cells than in untreated control cells. This is an exciting development for supplement brands interested in using Miricell to promote a healthy lifespan. The fact is, there are prior studies (done by us or others) supporting the benefits of most of our ingredients.

NIE: Quality is a high priority at Nutraland USA. What are some of the steps the company has taken to ensure it?

Bruno: In addition to cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) compliance and extensive testing and documentation for all of our ingredients, we also follow ethical sourcing practices. Sustainable agricultural practices are employed for our plant-based ingredients. They are produced using only fair and ethical methods and are compliant with current governmental environmental, health and safety regulations both domestically and internationally. Our production methods do not compromise the welfare of the people (including fair pay) or environments associated with their production, and promote the sustainability of the people, their environments and their culture. Therefore, the producers of the ingredients may not contaminate the environments from which the botanicals are harvested, or the environments associated with the facilities in which they are processed.

NIE: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Bruno: I’m proud to be the chief scientific officer of Nutraland USA. In my 45 years in the industry, I’ve never found another company whose commitment to innovation, quality, science and ethical practices surpasses us.


1 Riga P, Medina S, García-Flores LA, Gil-Izquierdo Á. Melatonin content of pepper and tomato fruits: effects of cultivar and solar radiation. Food Chem. 2014 Aug 1;156:347-52.

2 Yang TH, Chen YC, Ou TH, Chien YW. Dietary supplement of tomato can accelerate urinary aMT6s level and improve sleep quality in obese postmenopausal women. Clin Nutr. 2020 Jan;39(1):291-297.

3 Grandner MA, Jackson N, Gerstner JR, Knutson KL. Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample. Appetite. 2013 May;64:71-80.

4 Chen Z, Yu L, Li W, Zhang H, Huang X, Chen W, Wang D. Association of vitamins with hearing loss, vision disorder and sleep problem in the U.S. general population. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 Apr;30(18):53876-53886.

5 Study Report for Nutraland: In vitro proliferative and telomere length analysis (TAT). LifeLength. January 17, 2023: 23 pgs.

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