The team genetically altered the tomatoes to produce a small peptide which imitates the action of the chief protein in high-density lipoprotein, or apoA-1.
A test was conducted on mice which were allowed to eat genetically engineered tomatoes. These mice did not have the ability to take out low-density lipoprotein from their blood.
The experiment revealed that mice that ate the peptide-enhanced tomatoes portrayed markedly lower levels of inflammation, increased levels of good cholesterol, and decreased lysophosphatidic acid, which fastens the build-up of plaque in arteries.
"It seems likely that the mechanism of action of the peptide-enhanced tomatoes involves altering lipid metabolism in the intestine, which positively impacts cholesterol," said the scientists.