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New research proves Kiwifruit heart link

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

New research proves Kiwifruit heart link

New international research shows eating two kiwifruit a day significantly reduces the risk of heart disease.

And the results are good news for a small New Zealand company that has developed the technology to turn the furry fruits into pharmacy tablets and capsules.

The study, at the University of Oslo, showed that eating two to three kiwifruit a day for 28 days significantly reduced platelet aggregation (blood clotting), which plays a major role in the development Coronary Heart Disease.

The research further supports earlier studies from the UK's prestigious Rowett Institute that found kiwifruit can halt and then repair cancer-causing DNA damage in cells.

Lead researcher from Oslo University Professor Asim Duttaroy said kiwifruit had a similar effect to aspirin which is widely prescribed as an anti-clotting medication, but without aspirin's side effects.

Aspirin, which falls into the class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is taken by 14 million Americans a year on a daily basis to prevent cardiovascular disease.

But all drugs in this class cause inflammation and ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract so such widespread exposure takes its toll, Professor Asim said.

Around 100,000 Americans are hospitalised and 10-20,000 die each year from NSAID complications.

The news is a windfall for Auckland company Vital Foods Limited which for 12 years has been manufacturing kiwifruit products and owns the rights to specialist technology for formulating medications from the fruit. Vital Food managing director Bruce Donaldson said the company had been making digestion supplements for most of its history.

We have always been aware that the effects of Kiwifruit were far wider than the applications we were putting it to because both customers and their doctors were reporting other improvements.

But this is the first fully researched study that proves the benefits of kiwifruit in a real-world setting with clinical controls.

Other customers using Vital Foods's products are long distance air travellers looking to avoid the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on extended flights.

On the back of the Oslo research I think it's quite likely that within 2 years all major airlines will be actively advising their passengers to eat kiwifruit or kiwifruit supplements before flying, Mr Donaldson said.

About Vital Foods Vital Foods is an Auckland based company specialising in producing medications and supplements from kiwifruit extract. Vital Foods makes the supplement Digestezy and the kiwifruit drink Kiwi Crush. It pioneered [and owns] the technology that allows it to produce pharmacy medications without destroying the medically beneficial kiwifruit enzyme. Visit vital foods online at: www.naturesspark.co.nz

ENDS

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