A recent in vitro study suggests that a phytosterol-boosted nutritional oil from Israeli company Enzymotec could help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The study on an olive-based version of its MultOil (enriched with phytosterol-ester and DAG) found that the oil is significantly more potent than a simple combination of olive oil and phytosterol-esters in its ability to reduce macrophage peroxides content and macrophages superoxides release. According to the company, the oxidation process of macrophages is a critical stage of the atherosclerotic plaque formation cascade.
As a consequence, the decreased macrophage oxidative stress implies that MultOil cpould reduce the risk for coronary heart disease, through multiple pathways, writes Professor M. Aviram, leader of the study, and head of the Lipid Research Laboratory, Technion Faculty of Medicine in Israel.
He added that the mechanism is associated with cellular signal transudation processes.
"This is the first in a series of clinical studies and the first step in proving the synergistic health effect of MultOil," said Dr Ariel Katz, Enzymotec CEO.
Phytosterol-esters and DAG are believed to reduce the 'bad' cholesterol and thus to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease. The US Food and Drug Administration has recently recognised phytosterols-esters as GRAS for use in foods.
MultOil, recently launched by Enzymotec, is a line of multi-functional oils, based on natural oils enriched with 25 per cent phytosterols and 15 per cent DAG. It is designed for addition to salad dressing, spreads or energy bars.