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?
- Parkinson’s Disease Reverted In Rats
- Dr. Ozvorkian And The Amoebas
- Guest Post: Ben Allanach, On Open Access
- The Origin Of Theta Auroras Revealed
- Only One Third Of Dr. Oz Show Recommendations Is Believable, Finds Analysis
- Why Some People Are Better Navigators: Brain's 'Homing' Signal Identified
- Why I’ll Talk Policy With Climate Change Deniers But Not Science
- "Read more about the deepest fish etc., from Alan Jamieson, Senior Lecturer, Oceanlab at University..."
- "Open access to data http://inspirehep.net/record/749860/data..."
- "Yes indeed.In passing, one of my many nicknames is Compo. Now that I no longer need to wear..."
- "Just curious; why do you bounce all over a science site with no intention other than crapping all..."
- Concerns raised about variable performance of some UK personal use breathalyzers
- Alaska fish adjust to climate change by following the food
- Research shows E.B. White was right in 'Charlotte's Web'
- NASA's SDO captures images of 2 mid-level flares
- Lost memories might be able to be restored, new UCLA study indicates