Tag Archives: Genetically modified crops

Health Spreads Really do Lower Heart Risk

The makers of two leading brands of spreads have been cleared to carry on claiming their products can reduce cholesterol.
Benecol and Flora pro.activ contain plant ingredients which EU health watchdogs now agree can help lower the risk of coronary heart disease….click & see

It is Britain’s biggest killer, with 110,000 victims a year.

Some two in three adults in Britain have raised cholesterol, which leads to clogged arteries and is a factor in heart disease.
The vital ingredients work with the body by partially blocking the entry of cholesterol into the bloodstream. It is claimed they lower bad cholesterol, known as LDL, by up to 15 per cent when used every day as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Currently, millions of people rely on statin pills, prescribed by GPs, to reduce cholesterol. However, these can have side-effects, such as muscle pain.
Dietician and nutrition expert Helen Bond said: ‘People concerned about cholesterol need to have access to reliable, evidence based claims that will help them make wise food choices.

‘Dietary and lifestyle advice is always recommended as the first step for reducing cholesterol. Obesity, diabetes, raised cholesterol and a lack of physical activity are major risk factors for coronary heart disease.

‘This decision by the European Food Safety Authority will help people find the foods that will make a real difference.’
The manufacturers hailed the move to allow their so-called disease risk reduction claims as an important breakthrough.
Benecol products using the cholesterol reducing ingredients, called plant stanol esters, include drinks, yoghurts, spreads and cream cheese.
Benecol spokesman Esther van Onselen said: ‘Approval of the disease risk reduction claim is a really exciting step in helping consumers make an informed choice about which foods are proven to have a positive impact on their health.

‘There are more than 50 independent clinical studies which prove the cholesterol-lowering benefits of plant stanol esters.’
Flora pro.activ is made by Unilever, whose spokesman, Caroline Banquet, said: ‘We are delighted that the EU has now formally granted approval of our disease risk reduction claim.

‘Consumers can continue to be reassured that they can confidently trust our cholesterol-lowering health claims, in the knowledge that the science underpinning them has gone through rigorous and independent expert scrutiny.’
Unilever has carried out research into the cholesterol-lowering properties of plant ingredients since the 1980s. It first introduced Flora pro.activ spread in 2001, followed by yoghurt mini-drinks and milk drinks

Source:Mail Online, 23rd. Nov.’09

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Purple Tomato that Fights Cancer

A purple tomato genetically engineered to contain nutrients more commonly seen in dark berries helped prevent cancer in mice, British researchers said on Sunday.

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The finding, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, bolsters the idea that plants can be genetically modified to make people healthier.

Cancer-prone mice fed the modified fruit lived significantly longer than animals fed a standard diet with and without regular tomatoes, Cathie Martin and colleagues at the government-funded John Innes Centre in Britain reported.

“The effect was much bigger than we had expected,” said Martin, a plant biologist.

The study focused on anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant found in berries such as blackberries and blackcurrants that have been shown to lower risk of cancer, heart disease and some neurological diseases.

While an easy health boost, many people do not eat enough of these fruits, the researchers said.

Using genes that help colour the snapdragon flower, the researchers discovered they could get the tomatoes to make anthocyanins — turning the tomato purple in the process.

Mice genetically engineered to develop cancer lived an average of 182 days when they were fed the purple tomatoes, compared to 142 days for animals on the standard diet.

“It is enormously encouraging to believe that by changing diet, or specific components in the diet, you can improve health in animals and possibly humans,” Martin said in a telephone interview.

The researchers cautioned that trials in humans are a long way off and the next step is to investigate how the antioxidants actually affect the tumours to promote better health.

But the findings do bolster research suggesting that people can significantly improve their health by making simple changes to the daily diet, other researchers said.

“It’s exciting to see new techniques that could potentially make healthy foods even better for us,” said Dr. Lara Bennett, science information officer at Cancer Research UK.

“But it’s too early to say whether anthocyanins obtained through diet could help to reduce the risk of cancer.”

Click to see :->Pomegranates: the fruity panacea

Berries ‘help prevent dementia’

Darker fruits could fight cancer

Purple tomato ‘may boost health’

Sources: The Times Of India

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