At the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012, a study showed that genetically engineered tomato plants produced a peptide that mimics the actions of good cholesterol when eaten
In the study, mice that ate the freeze-dried, ground tomatoes had less inflammation and reduced atherosclerosis, plaque build-up in the arteries.
The researchers genetically engineered the tomatoes to produce 6F, a small peptide that mimics the action of ApoA-1, the chief protein in high density lipoprotein (HDL, also called "good" cholesterol). They fed the tomatoes to mice that lack the ability to remove low density lipoprotein (LDL - "bad" cholesterol) from their blood and readily develop inflammation and atherosclerosis when consuming a high-fat diet.
The mice ate the tomatoes as 2.2 percent of their Western-style high-fat, calorie-packed diet and those given the peptide-enhanced tomatoes had significantly:
lower blood levels of inflammation;
higher paraoxonase activity, an anti-oxidant enzyme associated with good cholesterol and related to a lower risk of heart disease;
higher levels of good cholesterol;
decreased lysophosphatidic acid, a tumor promoter that accelerates plaque build-up in arteries in animal models and;
less atherosclerotic plaque.
"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. "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."
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Sexual Fantasies: Threesomes Are Normal, Golden Showers Not So Much
- Ghost Light From Dead Galaxies - A Hubble Halloween
- Mediterranean Diet Linked To Better Kidney Health
- Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
- US Wildlife Bans On GMOs And Neonics Lack Transparency And Scientific Rationale
- Coulrophobia: Are Clowns Scary? Ha Ha Aaaargh
- Homo Floresiensis: Hobbit Species Continues To Provoke Questions About Human Evolution
- "Twelve years in a major urban public school system, and I couldn't once bring myself to eat a school..."
- "Hardly a day goes by without some creative new take on the eternal Evil White Man meme. Without..."
- "There would be no controversy if it were all balloons and ponies stories like that. But I hope..."
- "Let's talk about this disaster: I lost a course at the university where I work and became ineligible..."
- "Partisan nastiness doesn't advance dialogue. We are all in this together. You asked for solutions..."
- Battle of Britain: NGOs and scientists clash over proposal to loosen EU GMO restrictions
- Genetically modified clean energy from bacteria
- Designer babies: You can screen for cystic fibrosis but intelligence is a ways off
- Science as profane: What superstition of 1752 and 2014 share in common
- What’s so “natural” about “natural crop breeding”?
- Worried you have cancer? Take a Google pill!
- Report examines health care challenges for pregnant women enrolled in covered California
- NYU research: Majority of high school seniors favor more liberal marijuana policies
- ESA Frontiers November preview
- Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?
- Synthetic lethality offers a new approach to kill tumor cells, explains Moffitt researcher