A PILL that gives all the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet is set to receive a scientific patent.
Ateronon Heart is expected to get a licence from the European Patent Office in the new year. It contains LactoLycopene — a combination of lycopene, the heart-protecting red pigment in tomatoes, and milk protein.
Lycopene blocks the process leading to ‘atherosclerosis’ — or furring of the arteries — but is poorly absorbed in its natural form.
Researchers found that the absorption can be greatly boosted if it is combined with a milk protein.
It means people at risk of heart disease now have access to the first all-natural over-the-counter product clinically demonstrated to slow down the furring of the arteries, that leads to heart disease.
In an independent study published three years ago by Joseph Cheriyan, the director of Cambridge University cardiovascular clinical trials office, LactoLycopene was seen to improve blood flow by 53 per cent in patients with heart disease.
Nick Sutcliffe, the Cambridge lawyer who steered the patenting process, said: ‘People are looking for cures and if they can find them in plants that is much easier than developing synthetic drugs.’
Chris Meaney, of makers Cambridge Nutraceuticals, said the firm is continuing to try to demonstrate that LactoLycopene is beneficial for cardiovascular and other conditions.