Research capsule

SourceOne Global PartnersStudy Claim: Sytrinol, SourceOne Global Partners' patented proprietary formula, derived from PMFsource citrus bioflavonoids and TocoSource palm tocotrienols, significantly improves the ratio of total cholesterol:HDL and the ratio of LDL:HDL.

Published: Roza JM, et al. Effect of citrus flavonoids and toco-trienols on serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Altern Ther Health Med 2007 Nov-Dec;13(6):44-8.

Abstract: Preliminary studies have suggested that both citrus flavonoids and palm tocotrienols reduce cholesterol levels in laboratory animals. Researchers examined the effect of these nutrients in combination on blood levels of cholesterol and related cardiovascular-disease risk factors. Two open-label studies and one double-blind study are reported.

Three groups (n=10, n=10, n=120) of hypercholesterolemic men and women (cholesterol levels>230mg/dL) between the ages of 19 and 65 years were recruited. Subjects were randomised to consume either 270mg citrus flavonoids plus 30mg tocotrienols (Sytrinol, S), or placebo (P), daily for a period of four weeks (group 1 [G1] and group 2 [G2]) or 12 weeks (group 3 [G3]). Measurements of fasting levels of blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides were made at baseline and four weeks (all groups), and at eight weeks and 12 weeks (G3).

Daily treatment with S significantly improved cardiovascular parameters compared to P in all groups. Significant reductions were shown in total cholesterol (20-30 per cent), LDL (19-27 per cent), apolipoprotein B (21 per cent), and triglycerides (24-34 per cent). HDL levels remained unchanged in G1 and G2 but increased four per cent (nonsignificant) in G3 and were accompanied by a significant increase in apolipoprotein A1 (five per cent).

Potential applications: The combination of PMFsource and TocoSource (as found in Sytrinol) is the foundation for SourceOne's new Cholesstrinol family of heart-healthy formulas.? Cholesstrinol includes combinations of PMFsource, TocoSource and SterolSource 300 plant sterols.

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MenaQ7Study claim: PL Thomas' natural MK-7 vitamin K2 (MenaQ7 brand) is capable of reversing arterial calcification.

Published: Schurgers LJ, et al. Post-translational modifications regulate matrix Gla protein function: importance for inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell calcification. J Thromb Haemost 2007 Dec;5(12):2503-11.

Abstract: Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is a small vitamin K-dependent protein containing five gamma-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla) residues believed to be important in binding Ca(2+), calcium crystals, and bone morphogenetic protein. In addition, MGP contains phosphorylated serine residues that may further regulate its activity. In vivo, MGP has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of vascular calcification; however, the precise molecular mechanism underlying the function of MGP is not yet fully understood.

Researchers investigated the effects of MGP in human vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) monolayers that undergo calcification after exposure to an increase in Ca(2+) concentration. Increased calcium salt deposition was found in cells treated with the vitamin K antagonist warfarin as compared to controls, whereas cells treated with vitamin K(1) showed decreased calcification as compared to controls. With conformation-specific antibodies, it was confirmed that warfarin treatment of VSMCs resulted in uncarboxylated (Gla-deficient) MGP. To specifically test the effects of MGP on VSMC calcification, researchers used full-length synthetic MGP and MGP-derived peptides representing various domains in MGP. Full length MGP, the gamma-carboxylated motif (Gla) (amino acids 35-54), and the phosphorylated serine motif (amino acids 3-15) inhibited calcification. Furthermore, researchers showed that the peptides were not taken up by VSMCs but bound to the cell surface and to vesiclelike structures.

These data demonstrate that both gamma-glutamyl carboxylation and serine phosphorylation of MGP contribute to its function as a calcification inhibitor and that MGP may inhibit calcification via binding to VSMC-derived vesicles.

Potential applications: This could be used in dietary supplements and functional foods for healthy individuals to prevent bone and vascular disease, as well as for patients on oral anticoagulant treatment to offer them protection against coumarin-induced side effects and to reduce diet-induced fluctuations in their INR values.

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