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Michael Pearce, Immunotec Consultant

Cox Inhibition May Fight Heart Attacks

Written By: Robin - Apr• 20•10

heartResearch by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has demonstrated that aspirin, ibuprofen and other COX inhibitors may aid substantially in preventing heart disease, slowing the build-up of plaque in blood vessels by more than 50 percent.

“The cyclooxegenase enzyme known as COX-1 may play a role in the gradual hardening of the arteries that precedes acute events like heart attack or stroke,” said Garret A. FitzGerald, MD, chairman of Penn’s Department of Pharmacology. Medicines that inhibit the COX enzyme, such as aspirin, do not speed up the development of arteriosclerosis and can help protect against heart attack and stroke.

Using mice that had been engineered to produce high levels of cholesterol, the scientists analyzed the mice’s aortas at the conclusion of the 16-week study. The researchers found that lesions were reduced by 55 percent in mice exposed to the COX inhibitor, compared to lesions in the untreated mice.

Although more data in needed in support of the extrapolation, it is entirely logical that the same enzymes that make cherries effective in blocking the pain messages carried by the COX enzyme would also make cherries effective in protecting against heart attack and stroke.

David Ropa, a consultant with Thomas J. Payne Development, compiled the information on the most recent research projects on cherries.

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