This healthy and aromatic oil found in the natural component of mint leaves improves the function of blood vessels and the blood-brain barrier according to a new study led by a researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt (LMU) in Munich Germany. To prevent plaque buildup it was tested with a new formulation of the natural component essential oil. The result confirms previous results indicating that essential oils might also offer protection against the development of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Plaque buildup is a main cause of cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol levels are directly related to heart trouble. We believe that natural components in food may be useful to control cardiovascular diseases says Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt (LMU) Chancellor Franz-Werner Gttinger.

Beginning in vitro on endothelial cells the LMU research group tested the effects of essential oil derivatives on arterial cells. These cells are part of the arterial circulation and play an important role in providing a barrier for arterial blood vessels and in preventing inflammation arterial growth and blood loss when arterial blood flow is blocked.

Although essential oil derivatives (eNAs) are naturally occurring eNAs have not been tested in drugs before LMU chemists LeverHuchsen and Klaus-Matthias Strand have run experiments and are considered the last-line experiment for clinical trials. The LMU researchers are currently carrying out experiments with eNAs separately from substrates in a study of approximately 100 mice. This will be an example of the high reproducibility necessary for drug testing in vivo which is critical explains the LMU energy cell manager Bernhard Bergmann who heads the study.

The LMU scientists were then able to show that the substance eNAs which is mostly found in natures medicinal plants treated the endothelial cell condition in a beneficial way explains Nowak-Srensen. This leads to an optimistic prediction for the long-term clinical application of eNAs in the clinical treatment of vascular diseases including atherosclerosis and atherosclerosis-causing plaque buildup (creating clinically significant plaque burden).