Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Victoria Australia Scientists Find Milk the Cream of the Crop in Heart Disease Battle

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scientists in Victoria, Australia have discovered a compound in milk that could hold the key to combating a combination of disorders that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, Minister for Innovation Gavin Jennings announced today at the 2009 BIO International Convention in Atlanta, USA.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of high blood pressure, high glucose and obesity that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, conditions suffered by 30 per cent of Australians that are an extreme burden on the medical system.

“This remarkable discovery – that a compound in milk can reduce fat-muscle ratios and thus improve health – is a genuine coup for public health,” Mr. Jennings said.

“Findings such as this, which were achieved using a diverse range of Victoria’s biotechnology research and manufacturing capabilities, show the Brumby Government is taking action to improve the quality of life of not only Victorians, but people all around the world.”

Researchers from Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and MG Nutritionals – a division of Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co Ltd – found that a compound, known as Regeneration Inducing Peptide for Tissues and Cells (RIPTAC), when given daily to mice caused them not only to build more muscle but also want to exercise. The findings also showed an increase in muscle in mice not given exercise.

A good muscle to fat ratio is an important factor in reducing the incidence of metabolic syndrome and greater muscle mass is also a factor in burning fat.

Mr. Jennings said metabolic syndrome was one of Australia’s greatest health challenges and that it was important that discussions were now underway to conduct trials of RIPTAC in people in Victoria.

“Results in mice so far have shown great promise highlighting once again the medicinal qualities of milk,” he said.

“This latest discovery builds on past work by the collaborating Victorian teams that have shown active proteins in milk can promote the health of the human digestive system.

“There is a growing worldwide trend towards functional food and complementary medicine and this research is of great interest because milk is a natural source of beneficial ingredients and is something most people have access to every day.

“In addition to the development of new milk-based health products, the discovery provides a basis for development of new pharmaceuticals.”

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