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Butter-lovers take heart

Israeli scientists announce cholesterol breakthrough

Israeli scientists say cream and butter lovers can now eat guilt-free thanks to a chemical process that removes cholesterol from the body.

Professor Nissim Garti, a chemist at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, has designed what he calls tiny "nano-vehicles" to deliver specific nutrients to the bloodstream and inhibit the delivery of other molecules, such as cholesterol.

"I can either use them to enhance transport of certain molecules or I can use them to retard or to depress transport of other molecules," Garti told Reuters.

Garti's custom-made nano-vehicles transport phytosterols -- plant fats believed to help combat cholesterol -- to the blood stream instead of cholesterol.

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The cholesterol is expelled through the digestive system and the phytosterols are discharged by the body which is incapable of utilising them, Garti said.

"The result is that after a few weeks of intake of these new vehicles, the levels of total cholesterol are reduced by 15 to 30% depending on the amount of daily intake," he said.