London: A team of researchers, including an Indian-origin scientist, has found that combining marine fish oil, cocoa extract and phytosterols into a dietary supplement is likely to help fight heart disease, a new study suggests.
The researchers examined the potential of combining the three ingredients as a means of preventing atherosclerosis or ‘furring’ of the arteries.
“A variety of active food ingredients have been shown to impart beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease although little is known regarding their actions when taken in combination,” said one of the researchers Dipak Ramji from Cardiff University in Britain.
The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that in cell-based models, combining the three ingredients could, potentially, help halt the key processes associated with the progression of atherosclerosis.
Using a series of cell-based experimental models, the team examined what happens when omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in marine fish oil), flavanols (found in cocoa) and phytosterols are combined.
“The challenge now is to take our findings and examine whether they translate into humans,” researchers suggested.
Atherosclerosis is the major cause of heart disease, killing approximately one individual every 34 seconds and responsible for around a third of all deaths worldwide.
Current therapies against atherosclerosis are not fully effective and there have been numerous recent disappointments on promising agents that have been identified through various drug discovery programs.