Obesity is one of the major risk factors in the development of hypertension, heart attacks and strokes. However, this link is not always straightforward.

Mexican Americans have one of the highest levels of obesity in the US, but the prevalence of cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases and mortality rate from such diseases is the lowest of other ethic groups including non-Hispanic whites.

For example, the prevalence of obesity in non-Hispanic white women is 35% and in Mexican American women 45%. At the same time the death rate for the first group from the coronary heart disease is 243 per 100,000 of population, but for the second group is one-third lower 182. For ischemic stroke this difference is even more profound – more than 40% lower, 45 versus 32 deaths per 100,000 of population.

One of the most distinctive elements of the Mexican diet is cooked tomatoes. Scientists in Lycotec, Cambridge UK, http://www.lycotec.com led by Dr. Ivan Petyaev, have discovered that certain components of tomato extracts during the cooking process can cluster around health valuable molecules from other fruit and vegetables and protect them from being inactivated not only during cooking but during digestion too. Therefore more bioactive molecules, antioxidants and vitamins can be delivered and absorbed when the meal is cooked with tomatoes or in a tomato sauce.

Similar “technology” is at the core of another culinary practice for which significant cardio- and cerebrovascular health benefit has already been established, the Mediterranean diet.

Lycopene, the red pigment of tomatoes, plays the key role in this cooking process and is the central element of a new, patented technology which models it – LycosomeTM.

This technology can boost delivery and efficacy of biologically active molecules and can be used for a new generation of composite nutraceuticals, and fortification of functional food and beverages.

The superior efficacy of LycosomeTM has been validated in a number of clinical trials, the results of one of which, when efficacy of whey protein was increased by more than 100 fold, has recently been published: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541600/.

Lycotec has now initiated a transfer of its LycosomeTM technology for the industrial production of new more efficient health valuable food extracts, vitamins and minerals. These ingredients could be used by other culinary practices outside Mexican–Mediterranean diets, or by nutraceutical and functional food and beverage industries to create a new generation of products for cardio- and cerebrovascular support and protection.