Scientists have found in the larch the perfect cure for heart disease

© Photo : Alexander Bryukhanov, WWF Russia, the Planting of conifers in the Altai mountainsScientists have found in the larch the perfect cure for heart disease© Photo : Alexander Bryukhanov, WWF Russia Subscribe to a daily e-mail of RIA Science

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. Scientists from Russia found out that the wood of larches contains volatile substances that block the enzyme associated with the development of many diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Their findings and the results of experiments on rats was presented in European Journal of Pharmacology.

«Recently, we found that the activity of the enzyme ACE and the associated process of formation of aggressive molecules in the aorta of rats increased after exposure to ionizing radiation at doses used in cancer radiotherapy. We have studied how the different classes of flavonoids affect this process», — says Yuri Hristov from the Institute of theoretical and experimental Biophysics RAS, Pushchino, whose words the press service of ITEB.

Flavonoids represent a large group of diverse signaling molecules and other compounds that play an important role in the life of plants. As shown by hundreds of experiments, many of them possess potent antioxidant, anti-allergenic, and even anti-cancer properties.

For example, monitor the health of women, drank a lot of tea, showed that the flavonoids from tea leaves can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing cancer of the ovaries and other sexual organs, and their counterparts from the fruit of cocoa significantly reduce the likelihood of developing dementia in old age.

Other observations, as noted Korystov and his colleagues show that the flavonoids significantly reduce the likelihood of heart attack, arteriosclerosis and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. The mechanism of their action on the cardiovascular system remained a mystery to scientists that it is not possible to understand what are flavonoids protect the heart best.

Russian biophysicists have found the answer to this question by observing what happened in the vascular cells of the rats that survived the exposure with high doses of radiation. Ionizing radiation, as the scientists explain, causes the body to produce large quantities of molecules of ACE-angiotensin-converting enzyme responsible for regulating pressure in the blood vessels.

This protein is connected with the «blanks» of angiotensin, a hormone that causes narrowing of the vessel, and decomposes them, converting them to a fighting state by «biting» of the molecule. This not only leads to vasoconstriction in the affected organ, but also generates a lot of oxidants that destroy blood vessels and damaging the DNA of their cells.

Flavonoids, as scientists have assumed, not only counteract the effect of oxidants, but also inhibits the activity of the molecules of APF, not allowing them to produce angiotensin and other substances. They tried to find out how it is done, watching as flavonoids from seven different groups of these substances having different device, interact with the enzyme.

These experiments helped scientists to discover the nature of the work of flavonoids and find the most effective and heart-healthy substance is dihydroquercetin. It is among the strongest herbal antioxidants and is found in large quantities in the trunks of Siberian and far Eastern larches.

As scientists hope their research will help dihydroquercetin and its «cousins» quickly penetrate into medical practice and replace a number of synthetic drugs are used to suppress the activity of the enzyme. Flavonoids, according to biophysicists, have fewer side effects and they are not as toxic to the body as synthetic drugs, making them more interesting alternative to these drugs.