GMO tomato helps fight heart disease
Published 20 March 2013 By Vicky Boyd
University of California, Los Angeles, researchers have used genetic engineering to develop a tomato containing amino acids that mimic the actions of good cholesterol when consumed.
An early study found that mice fed these freeze-dried tomatoes had less inflammation and plaque build-up in their arteries, according to a news release.
After the tomatoes are eaten, the amino acid group—known as an apoA-1 peptide—was active in the small intestine but not in the blood.
This suggested to researchers that focusing on the small intestine may be a new strategy to prevent atherosclerosis, which causes plaque build-up in arteries and can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The peptide would be considered a drug if given as an injection or in a pill form. But when included as part of a plant, fruit or vegetable, it is no different than the same organism that hasn't been transformed.
Their findings were published in the April issue of the Journal of Lipid Research.
More information, University of California, Los Angleis newsroom