Resveratrol, a compound produced by a range of plants, has been attaining headlines over the last year or so, with surveys sharply divided on how beneficial told molecule may or may not be to human health. A group of researchers and bioengineers at the John Innes Centre have decided to fall firmly on one side of the fence, announcing that they have discovered a style to build resveratrol in industrial quantities by rendering it in genetically modified tomatoes, along with other phenylpropanoids, a group of compounds resveratrol belongs to.
This new technique appears to be so effective that one tomato can be grown to contain enough resveratrol as would be found in 50 bottles of red wine. Genistein, another phenylpropanoid that has been suggested to contribute to the prevention of breast cancer, has furthermore been shown to be able to be highly concentrated in these tomatoes, containing as much as 2.5 kilograms( 5.5 pounds) of tofu has.
The protein AtMYB1 2 is found in a very common U.K. garden plant, Arabidopsis thaliana ; it plays an important role in controlling the production of natural compounds vital for the plants survival. As explained in astatement: The proteinacts a bit like a tap to increase or reduce the production of natural compounds depending on how much of the protein is present.
The researchers introduced this protein into a tomato plant remarkably, it increased the capacities of the tomato to render phenylpropanoids. In addition, it induced the plant into dedicating more energy into the production of these natural compounds, including resveratrol. Putting it another way, this protein turned on the resveratrol tap at full blast.
Compared to other harvests, tomatoes have a high yield for relatively little agricultural input. This research suggests that a vast sum of resveratrol could be produced worldwide with the simple addition of AtMYB1 2.
Medicinal plants with high value are often difficult to grow and manage, and require very long cultivation times to render the desired compounds, told Dr Yang Zhang, one of the leading researchers of the project, in a statement. Our research offer a fantastic platform to rapidly make these valuable medicinal compounds in tomatoes.
As for whether or not resveratrol actually benefits human health, the jury is still out on this one. Its found in relatively high concentrations in red wine and dark chocolate, and some studies show that resveratrol has anti-cancerous and anti-diabetic impacts, as well as contributing to a healthy heart. Other surveys have shown that the compound demonstrated improved learning, memory and mood regulation in rats, potentially indicating the same effect may be seen in humans.
All these benefits, of course, does not mean you should down as much red wine or jeering as much dark chocolate as possible the high sugar content in wine will at the very least reverse the anti-diabetic impacts the resveratrol appears to offer. As aforementioned, some studies conclude that this multi-purpose molecule actually has no effect on the health of humans, with no association made between a diet rich in resveratrol and a reduction in the incidence of cancers or heart disease.
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