SesaPlex™ is an extract of sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum), concentrated in active ingredients: 30% sesamin and 10% sesamolin.
These substances are part of the lignan group of phenolic compounds which have a wide variety of sources and properties.
In some plant species, these phytonutrients:
• play a part in regulating the hormone system by acting on oestrogen and testosterone (via a regulating effect on a key enzyme, 5 alpha-reductase);
• reduce cortisol levels;
• have anti-mitotic properties (certain species of Podophyllum).
The sesamin and sesamolin in SesaPlex™ contribute to healthy cardiovascular function in a number of ways: Maintain normal lipid profile
Japanese studies showed that taking sesamin helped reduce total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and apoliprotein B (Apo B) by almost 20% in just eight weeks.
SesaPlex™ thus improves the overall lipid profile and even lowers LDL sensitivity to oxidation. Hypotensive effects
In animal studies, administering SesaPlex™ standardised in sesamin for five weeks resulted in a significant drop in blood pressure. In fact, animals given sesamin had lower levels of superoxide (a marker for cardiovascular stress) as well as lower blood pressure. Scientists concluded that the sesamin inhibited production of aortic superoxide and that its antioxidant activity may contribute to its ability to reduce blood pressure.
This hypotensive benefit may also be linked to a blocking effect on calcium channels, similar to that of nifedipine, inducing relaxation of the vascular endothelium.
Powerful antioxidant properties
SesaPlex™ increases levels of gamma- and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) in tissues and serum, resulting in a significant decrease in lipid peroxidation and thus preventing damage by excess free radicals.
Sesame seed’s components, including sesamin and sesamolin, may therefore reduce the effects of reactive oxygen species, a group of highly-reactive and harmful free radicals generated in response to injury such as that caused by a stroke.
Boosts effect of certain fatty acids to give powerful anti-inflammatory benefits
The lignans in sesame inhibit delta-5-desaturase, an enzyme which enables DGLA (dihomo-γ-linolenic acid) to be converted into inflammatory arachidonic acid.
They also reduce blood levels of two inflammatory mediators: TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor) and PGE2 (prostaglandin E2).
In addition, a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats, and thus long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, is known to generate large numbers of free radicals. Adding sesame seed lignans to fish oils reduces lipid peroxidation, increasing the oils’ anti-inflammatory effects.
Therefore, through its sesamin content in particular, SesaPlex™ reduces factors that predispose to inflammation, so protecting against a number of associated diseases (atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease…)
Cardiovascular and hormonal support for menopausal women
A placebo-controlled crossover study was conducted on 24 menopausal women, in which they were either given 50g/day of sesame seed powder for five weeks, followed by a three-week washout period and a further five week placebo period, or the same treatment in reverse order. The sesame treatment was found to significantly improve the women’s lipid profile and antioxidant status, particularly their blood tocopherol levels, and may also influence sex hormones.
Taking SesaPlex™ could also contribute to weight loss because it improves oxidation of fatty acids in liver tissue and controls glycaemia (blood sugar levels).
This supplement can therefore be taken alongside fish oils and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid widely-shown to aid weight loss. Prevents apoptosis of healthy cells
Chinese scientists showed that significantly less cell death occurred in cells treated with sesamin and sesamolin than in untreated cells. They concluded that the lignans in sesame seeds may suppress production of reactive oxygen species and inhibit the release of mitogen activated-protein kinases, a family of immune system proteins responsible for inducing programmed cell death or apoptosis.
These observations were corroborated by researchers in Taiwan who found that sesame lignans were able to influence apoptosis by modulating immune system signalling pathways.