Latest study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012 has sown that genetically engineered tomatoes could reduce the risk of plaque. Researchers conducted this study on mice and found that mice has less inflammation and reduced atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries) when they ate freeze-dried, ground tomatoes.
“We have found a new and practical way to make a peptide that acts like the main protein in good cholesterol, but is many times more effective and can be delivered by eating the plant,” said Alan M. Fogelman, M.D., senior author of the study and executive chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Atherosclerosis Research Unit in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Tomatoes were genetically engineered to produce a peptide named as 6F that mimics the action of ApoA-1, the chief protein in high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol).
Researchers gave tomatoes to those mice who were unable to remove low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholestrol) and suffer inflammation and atherosclerosis if they ate diet rich in fat.
Those mice who receive peptide enhance diet has significantly
- Increased level of good cholesterol (HDL);
- Reduced level of blood inflammation;
- Reduced lysophosphatidic acid, (a tumor promoting agent that promotes plaque buildup in arteries in animals)’
- Increased paraoxonase activity, (anti-oxidant enzyme).
“To our knowledge this is the first example of a drug with these properties that has been produced in an edible plant and is biologically active when fed without any isolation or purification of the drug,” Fogelman said.
List of coauthors of this study are Arnab Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.; Mohamad Navab, Ph.D.; Greg Hough, B.S.; David Meriwether, B.S.; Gao Feng, Ph.D.; Victor Grijalva, B.S.; James R. Springstead, Ph.D.; Mayakonda N. Palgunachari, Ph.D.; Ryan Namiri-Kalantari, B.S.; G.M. Anantharamaya, Ph.D.; Robin Farias-Eisner, M.D., Ph.D.; and Srinivasa T. Reddy, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.
Source: American Heart Association
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