Inventor of cholesterol-lowering probiotic to speak at natural health product research conference

A highly-regarded scientist from McGill University who developed a probiotic that helps lower cholesterol will be a featured speaker for a major national conference on natural health products research being held here next week.

The Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada will hold its 10th annual conference at Caesars Windsor May 12-15. The event - organized under the guidance of UWindsor biochemistry professor Siyaram Pandey - will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the latest scientific advancements in everything from how natural health products can treat infections and enhance immunities to how they can fight cancer, diabetes, dementia and other conditions.

Satya Prakash

Satya Prakash.

“In general, I think people are more aware of their health these days and they want to manage it,” said Satya Prakash, a professor of biomedical engineering in McGill’s faculty of medicine, and the director and co-founder of Micropharma Ltd. “Managing it with natural products is everyone’s choice now.”

A director of McGill's biomedical technology and cell therapy research lab, Dr. Prakash devotes his efforts to developing new medical treatment strategies, including novel cell and drug-based therapies. His research team investigates probiotics, cholesterol lowering formulations, fatty liver therapeutics, therapeutic protein delivery, novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, wound healing, and formulations for use in colon and breast cancers.

After more than a decade of work, he created Micropharma along with his graduate student and his twin brother, a spin-off company from his lab that developed Cardioviva, a natural probiotic that’s been shown in peer reviewed and published clinical trials to safely reduce LDL, or “bad" cholesterol, by 11.6 percent in adults with moderately elevated cholesterol.

“It’s a whole new approach to managing cholesterol,” said Prakash, who has published more than 225 peer reviewed articles and abstracts, and been listed as an inventor in 52 approved or pending patents. “This replicates the mechanism of an enzyme found in our guts that break down bile salts that contribute to the buildup of cholesterol.”

Derived from a natural probiotic bacteria strain, Cardioviva – which is available over the counter in Canada and will be launched in the U.S. next week by Micropharma and The Winning Combination – helps reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver and by reducing the amount absorbed from food. It can be used as an alternative or a supplement to pharmaceuticals currently used to treat cholesterol, many of which can have side effects for some patients, Prakash added.

Prakash – whose work has generated more than $10 million in research grants and has won 26 awards, including Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Science and the Canadian Institute of Health Research Investigator Award – will deliver a plenary address on May 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Visit the conference web site for a complete schedule.

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