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Plants Help Fight Cardiovascular Disorders

Indena approach to dietary antioxidant treatment can contribute to optimise nutrition

Rome, June 19th 2006 – Medicinal plants can be a real boon for human health. They can make a substantial contribution to reducing the incidence of chronic degenerative pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. On the occasion of the XIV International Symposium on Atherosclerosis in Rome, Paolo Morazzoni, President of the Scientific Board of Indena, is to give a Master Lecture on how standardised extracts of edible plants can be used to optimise nutrition.

The plants most widely used to combat cardiovascular and dysmetabolic disorders are those containing high amounts of polyphenols, antioxidant molecules which have proved to be active in counteracting radical scavenging-related diseases. This group of plants includes Vitis vinifera L. (grape seed), Vaccinium myrtillus L. (bilberry), Camellia sinensis L. (green tea) and Olea europaea L. (olive).

Other edible plants however have recently attracted the attention of researchers: their biologically active ingredients have been generally identified as proteins which, with various mechanisms, can help also provide relief in dysmetabolic disorders: Phaseoulus vulgaris L. (the well known bean), Lupinus albus L. (lupin), Glycine max L. (soy).

In this perspective, “standardised products obtained from well known plants such as tea, grape, bilberry and olive tree - said Paolo Morazzoni – help maintain healthy physiological functions and reduce the risk of some of the major pathologies, of which cardiovascular and dysmetabolic disorders represent an increasing part.”

Indena’s technological expertise in both production and analytical techniques have enabled the development of edible plant extracts, with an extremely high degree of standardisation, which, in some cases, includes the identification and quantification of each single component of the complex mixture.

“In order to obtain biological data which can be safely and effectively reproduced – continued Dr Morazzoni - the botanical extract must contain the same active ingredients over time: it should also be stable and devoid of unpredictable toxicity and any side effects.”

Indena is committed to guaranteeing quality in this field, through rigorous standardisation, based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), together with analytical quantitative techniques (HPLC, HPLC-MS) and semi-quantitative techniques (NMR, FT-IR and NIR spectroscopy). These enable the industrial preparation of highly reproducible extracts of plants, which are often endowed with exciting biological properties.

Indena is the world's leading company dedicated to the identification, development and production of active principles derived from plants, for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. The key to Indena's success is its research, covering: the screening of medicinal plants for their pharmacological benefits; the identification of new active principles; and the development of extraction and purification systems at the cutting-edge of industrial application. Backed up by over 80 years of botanical experience, the phyto-chemical research is carried out in Indena's own Settala Research Center, near Milan. Indena also co-operates with the world's most prestigious universities and private research institutions in the biological assessment of safety and effectiveness up to clinical phase I. The company, with more than 700 employees, including 10% dedicated to full-time research, manages cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution operations in more than 40 countries throughout the world. The Company's experts communicate and interact constantly with the major international regulatory authorities such as WHO, EMEA, and ESCOP, and work with all the main pharmacopoeias.

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