Heart Disease Treatment Breakthrough
launch of a potentially revolutionary heart disease treatment that offers
people around the world the hope of combating the killer disease.
of heart disease related illnesses that can cause heart attacks and stroke.
Dozens of research studies have shown that lycopene – found in the skins
of ripe tomatoes – has the capacity to significantly reduce the build up of
plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Lycopene is the potent antioxidant isolated for its health-promoting
properties from the Mediterranean diet (http://www.ateronon.com/).
Until now, scientists have been unable to find a way of modifying
lycopene molecules so they can be readily absorbed into the human body.
Researchers from Cambridge Theranostics Limited (CTL), a biotech spin-out
new Ateronon compound.
Dr Hicks said: “If you think that this can reduce the damage to the
arteries, which is the damage that ends up causing heart attacks and strokes
- this can potentially extend life but also saving lives on a global basis.
“The potential impact is enormous – we might see a fall in the number of
people suffering heart attacks, strokes and other problems relating to
arterial damage and the clogging up of the arteries. That has to be
welcomed,” he added.
Results from their early trials involving 150 people with heart disease
were made public for the first time at the British Cardiovascular Society
annual conference in
The Ateronon formulation combines lycopene with milk and soy-based
proteins to produce a much smaller, and more bio-available molecule. The
early studies have shown that Ateronon can inhibit the oxidation of low
density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which can put people at risk of
suffereing heart attacks and stroke, to almost zero within eight weeks.
An estimated 17.5 million people died from heart and circulatory diseases
in 2005, representing 30% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated
7.6 million were due to coronary heart disease and 5.7 million were due to
More than 117,000 people die each year in the UK from coronary heart
disease. It accounts for one in five deaths in men and one in six deaths in
The four million people who take statins to help lower their cholesterol
and chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke could benefit from using
Ateronon. The product can be taken alongside statins.
Although cholesterol does put people at risk of suffering a heart attack
or stroke, half of all heart attacks and three quarters of all strokes occur
in people who do not have raised cholesterol.
Large scale studies of Ateronon are being undertaken at Addenbrookes
they will demonstrate that the reduction of LDL oxidation is translated into
improved heart and circulatory health – and improved survival rates.
The study was built on research originally carried out by the
multi-national food giant Nestle, who were looking for a way to capture the
therapeutic benefits of the tomato-derived compound lycopene.
After its launch to doctors this month, Ateronon will be made available
direct to consumers through high street pharmacists from July onwards.
confident that once doctors had observed the benefits of Ateronon, they would
instantly see the potential benefits.
He said: “We are extremely excited about Ateronon. We have 10 worldwide
patents recognising its efficacy, but we want its capabilities to be taken
very seriously by clinicians as well. We don’t want it dismissed as just
another food supplement.”
 World Health Organization
 British Heart Foundation
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