NORWICH, United Kingdom — A genetically engineered “super” tomato that may have the power to fight Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer has been created by British scientists. The modified fruit is packed with vitamin D — which also boosts bones, teeth, and muscles.
Estimates show more than four in 10 Americans may have a vitamin D deficiency, which can increase their risk of developing a host of illnesses. Now, a team at the John Innes Centre in Norwich has engineered a variety of tomato that produces more.
They used a gene editing technique known as CRISPR, enabling them to make precise changes in DNA at specific locations. The procedure blocked the action of an enzyme that normally converts the vitamin to cholesterol.
“We’ve shown that you can biofortify tomatoes with provitamin D3 using gene editing, which means tomatoes could be developed as a plant-based, sustainable source of vitamin D3,” says corresponding author Professor Cathie Martin in a media release.
“Forty percent of Europeans have vitamin D insufficiency and so do one billion people world-wide. We are not only addressing a huge health problem, but are helping producers, because tomato leaves which currently go to waste, could be used to make supplements from the gene-edited lines.”Continue reading… “Gene-edited super tomato may provide the vitamin punch to fight Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer”