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?
- Should Pregnant Women Be Concerned About BPA?
- The Five Stages Of A Dying Theory
- President Elect Trump - Why Climate Change Is No Longer A Political Issue Outside The US
- Russian scientists increase DVD storage capacity million times
- When Salt Is An Endocrine Disruptor, The Term Is Officially Meaningless
- Vector Boson Scattering: ATLAS Tests SM Unitarity
- Jena's Roots In The Tree Of Life
- "It's okay, I'm fine with off topic posts :). Had some interesting comment threads that went way..."
- "Just to let you know, Daniel Dady, that web privacy is becoming an ever-scarcer commodity and that..."
- "First to say, that I grant Science20 rights to publish my articles here, but I do retain copyright..."
- "You claim to 'know' because of 'something you saw on the web', but do not allow us to cite 'something..."
- "There is lots of proof. This is why astronomers are totally sure it is nonsense, an article..."
- Five PM? Time for Breakfast!
- Include Aerobic Fitness in Physical Exams, Heart Association Recommends
- Female Vervet Monkeys Assault Males that Do Not Participate in Fights
- Vaginal Ring Effective for HIV Infection Prevention
- Winter is No Wonderland
- On Fitness & Longevity, Don't Be Misled By Health Hype Headlines