Researchers claim to have replicated Mediterranean diet benefits in a pill – and it’s patented

A team of scientists from Cambridge University has invented and patented the world’s first all-natural pill that claims to provide health benefits similar to that of a Mediterranean diet, which can help improve heart health – according to a Daily Mail report.

Known as “Ateronon Heart,” the patented supplement merges the heart-health benefits of a particular component in tomatoes with milk, allowing the body to absorb it easier. The supplement contains lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their bright red color. It is proven to maintain healthy heart function. However, lycopene is inadequately absorbed in its natural form until it is mixed with milk to make LactoLycopene, which is contained in the patented pill. LactoLycopene improves the flow of blood in heart disease patients by 53 percent. Ateronon Heart is also known as the “tomato pill” that was developed by Cambridge Nutraceuticals.

“We have potentially very interesting studies ongoing at a number of leading academic research institutions in the U.K. And we hope to be publishing the results of these studies in 2018,” said Chris Meaney, a spokesperson for Cambridge Nutraceuticals.

The supplement works by preventing proteins that lead to the breakdown of fats in the blood, or stopping the process that leads to plaque buildup in the arteries, which in turn causes them to narrow the artery walls, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

“We’ve shown quite clearly that lycopene improves the function of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients,” said Joseph Cheriyan, who was a part of a LactoLycopene study in the past.

Nick Sutcliffe, the lawyer from Cambridge who started the patenting process, said that more people are interested in natural ingredients and that people are searching for cures for various diseases.

“And if they can find them in plants that is very much easier than developing synthetic drugs to treat disease,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 17.7 million people who die every year because of cardiovascular diseases or about 31 percent of all deaths globally, with 80 percent of all cardiovascular disease-related deaths caused by heart attacks and strokes. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, one in every four people or approximately 610,000 people die because of heart disease each year, with coronary heart disease being the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 370,000 people every year. Heart disease is the most common cause of death for both men and women.

More about lycopene and its other health benefits

Lycopene – which belongs to the group of carotenoids – is the natural ingredient that is responsible for giving the deep red color in many food, most especially in tomatoes. Aside from tomatoes, it can be found in other fruits and vegetables, such as pink grapefruits, pink guava, watermelon, papaya, and rosehips. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain the strength, thickness, and fluidity of cell membranes which are responsible for screening what goes in and out of cells, letting in good nutrients and removing cellular junk and preventing toxins from entering the cells. Lycopene is known to help prevent different forms of cancer and other illnesses and diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases, osteoporosis, and age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. This nutrient may also help in the treatment of infertility, and in the prevention of skin aging. It also works as an internal sunscreen and protects the skin from sunburn. (Related: Fight cancer, boost overall health with lycopene-rich foods.)

Read more stories about other nutrient-rich foods at

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