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Cambridge based biotech company Lycotec has developed a technology which helps to identify new anti-inflammatory factors in an unexpected food product - Roquefort.

Extensive laboratory and clinical validation has demonstrated that these factors, which occur during ripening of the cheese, have unique properties allowing them to perform best in such acidic environments as the lining of the stomach or the skin surface.

Acidification is also a common process accompanying inflammation, e.g. in a joint affected by arthritis or in an active atherosclerotic plaque on arterial wall.

Moreover, there is a growing consensus that sub-clinical inflammation is behind ageing processes, from the loss of skeletal muscles in older people and cellulite to metabolic and cardio- and cerebro-vascular age-related conditions and diseases.

In a recently published paper “Could cheese be the missing piece in the French paradox puzzle?” the Lycotec team, led by Dr. Ivan Petyaev and Dr. Yuriy Bashmakov, suggested that regular consumption by the French of Roquefort, Camembert and other moulded fermented cheeses (maybe together with red wine?) could be behind the fact that this nation has the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality in the developed world despite a diet high in saturated fat.

This new discovery could not only lead to the creation of new pharmaceuticals to control inflammation cascades, but also to the development of new anti-ageing and beauty cosmetic, functional food and beverage products - without the smell of mould!

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