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National Research Council, Omnia Foods sign licensing agreement for cholesterol-reduction technology


Charlottetown, PEI – Federal government researchers at the National Research Council (NRC) have developed new technology to help lower bad cholesterol levels by combining natural botanical extracts. Vancouver-based Omnia Foods has now acquired the North American rights to this technology, which was developed at NRC’s Nutrisciences and Health cluster initiative in Charlottetown.

The combination of botanical extracts may take the form of a dietary supplement, a nutraceutical or an ingredient in a functional food. Common functional foods include calcium-enriched orange juice and yogurt with a probiotic culture.

NRC research shows that the technology helps to lower LDL-cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, by 66 percent while reducing fat in the blood by 50 percent, providing benefits to Canadians without the potentially serious side-effects often associated with statin drugs, which are commonly prescribed to reduce fat levels in human blood.

“NRC cluster initiatives create a dynamic location where companies, government, and universities can network, invest and bring innovative technologies to market,” said Dr Pierre Coulombe, NRC’s president.

This announcement coincides with National Biotechnology Week, which runs from September 18-25.

“Omnia Foods is confident that NRC’s technology will further our efforts to launch new natural health products throughout North America,” said Mira Laza, chief of food technology of Omnia Foods. “As incidences of cardiovascular disease continue to rise, North Americans need safer more effective options to keep them healthy.”