Nutraceutical approach for the management of cardiovascular risk - a combination containing the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum BB536 and red yeast rice extract: results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Nutrition journal. 2019;18(1):13
Plain language summary
Probiotics have been shown to reduce total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C – often called ‘bad’ cholesterol) in people with moderately raised cholesterol levels. A specific strain of probiotic called Bifidobacterium longum BB536, may decrease TC and LDL-C by reducing the reabsorption of cholesterol from the intestine, and, combined with other natural supplements, may be useful to manage high cholesterol in people at low risk of heart disease. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of a nutraceutical (Lactoflorene Colesterolo®), containing Bifidobacterium longum BB536 (1bn CFUs) combined with red yeast rice (RYR) extract (10 mg/day monacolin K), niacin (16mg) and coenzyme Q10 (20mg) on levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood. This was a 12-week randomised, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, in which 33 adults at low risk of heart disease were given either the Bifidobacterium combination, or a placebo. Treatment with the Bifidobacterium combination significantly reduced total cholesterol by 16.7%, LDL-C by 25.7%, non-HDL-C by 24% and apolipoprotein-B by 17%. Triglycerides, HDL-C, apolipoprotein AI, lipoprotein (a) and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) were unchanged. Markers of cholesterol synthesis and absorption suggested that a reduction in the synthesis of cholesterol had occurred without increased absorption of cholesterol. No adverse effects were reported in the study and the compliance rate was high at 97%. The use of nutraceuticals in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, as well as in other areas related to chronic diseases like cancer, is currently expanding.
BACKGROUND Probiotics incorporated into dairy products have been shown to reduce total (TC) and LDL cholesterolemia (LDL-C) in subjects with moderate hypercholesterolemia. More specifically, probiotics with high biliary salt hydrolase activity, e.g. Bifidobacterium longum BB536, may decrease TC and LDL-C by lowering intestinal cholesterol reabsorption and, combined with other nutraceuticals, may be useful to manage hypercholesterolemia in subjects with low cardiovascular (CV) risk. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a nutraceutical combination containing Bifidobacterium longum BB536, red yeast rice (RYR) extract (10 mg/day monacolin K), niacin, coenzyme Q10 (Lactoflorene Colesterolo®). The end-points were changes of lipid CV risk markers (LDL-C, TC, non-HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), apolipoprotein B (ApoB), HDL-C, apolipoprotein AI (ApoAI), lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9)), and of markers of cholesterol synthesis/absorption. METHODS A 12-week randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Thirty-three subjects (18-70 years) in primary CV prevention and low CV risk (SCORE 0-1% in 24 and 2-4% in 9 subjects; LDL-C: 130-200 mg/dL) were randomly allocated to either nutraceutical (N = 16) or placebo (N = 17). RESULTS Twelve-week treatment with the nutraceutical combination, compared to placebo, significantly reduced TC (- 16.7%), LDL-C (- 25.7%), non-HDL-C (- 24%) (all p < 0.0001), apoB (- 17%, p = 0.003). TG, HDL-C, apoAI, Lp(a), PCSK9 were unchanged. Lathosterol:TC ratio was significantly reduced by the nutraceutical combination, while campesterol:TC ratio and sitosterol:TC ratio did not change, suggesting reduction of synthesis without increased absorption of cholesterol. No adverse effects and a 97% compliance were observed. CONCLUSIONS A 12-week treatment with a nutraceutical combination containing the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum BB536 and RYR extract significantly improved the atherogenic lipid profile and was well tolerated by low CV risk subjects. TRIAL REGISTRATION NCT02689934 .
Effect of yerba mate and green tea on paraoxonase and leptin levels in patients affected by overweight or obesity and dyslipidemia: a randomized clinical trial.
Nutrition journal. 2019;18(1):5
Plain language summary
Yerba mate is a popular tea-like beverage, traditionally consumed in Latin and South America. Yerba mate contains a range of plant compounds that may have beneficial effects on health, such as weight loss and antioxidant activity. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the intake of yerba mate and green tea on serum levels of leptin, a hormone involved in regulating appetite, and paraoxonase-1 (PON-1), an enzyme that can destroy harmful oxidised fats in the blood. 142 overweight or obese adults aged 35-60 years, with abnormal levels of fats in the blood and no history of coronary artery disease took part in this controlled, randomised clinical trial. Participants drank 1 litre of either yerba mate, green tea or apple tea daily for eight weeks. Blood PON-1 and leptin levels were measured at the beginning and end of the study. The group drinking yerba mate showed a significant 9.7% increase in blood levels of PON-1, but no difference in leptin levels. The consumption of green tea resulted in no significant differences in the levels of PON-1 or leptin. The increase in PON-1 levels in the yerba mate group was significantly associated with increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-c - often called ‘good’ cholesterol). The authors concluded that drinking yerba mate increased antioxidant capacity by increasing blood levels of PON-1 and was positively associated with increased HDL-c, demonstrating a protective role of this beverage against thickening and hardening of the arteries.
BACKGROUND This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the intake of yerba mate (YM) and green tea (GT) on serum levels of leptin and paraoxonase-1 (PON-1), compared to control. METHODS Controlled, randomized clinical trial (RCT) that evaluated 142 men and women affected by overweight or obesity aged 35-60 years, untreated dyslipidemia and no history of coronary artery disease. Participants were randomized to ingest 1000 mL GT, YM or apple tea (AT, control group) daily, during eight weeks. Serum PON-1 and leptin levels were analyzed by ELISA immunoassay at the beginning (baseline) and after eight weeks of intervention. RESULTS The intake of 1 l of YM/day resulted in significant increase in serum levels of PON-1 (9.7%; p = 0.005). The consumption of GT induced no significant difference in the levels of PON-1 (p = 0.154) and leptin (p = 0.783). Intergroup analysis showed a significant difference (p = 0.036) in the variation of PON-1 levels in the YM group when compared to GT and AT groups. In addition, the increase in PON-1 levels in the YM group was significantly associated with increased HDL-c (p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS The intake of yerba mate increased the antioxidant capacity by increasing serum levels of PON-1 and was positively associated with increased HDL-c, stressing the protective role of this beverage against atherosclerotic diseases. GT intake had no significant effect on serum levels of PON-1 and leptin. TRIAL REGISTRATION This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov under protocol number NCT00933647.
Dietary Patterns in Secondary Prevention of Heart Failure: A Systematic Review.
Plain language summary
Diet is recognised as an important factor in the prevention of heart failure, however there is no consensus about which dietary protocol is the most effective. This systematic review aims to clarify links between different dietary measures and markers of heart failure. The review included 12 studies of different types (randomised controlled trials, cross-sectional studies and cohort studies), which examined the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, high protein diet and low carbohydrate diet. The studies examining the DASH diet demonstrated improvements in various measures of cardiac function and may have benefits for secondary prevention of heart failure. The Mediterranean diet was associated with lower levels of inflammation and improved cardiac function in cross-sectional studies only. High protein and low carbohydrate diets also demonstrated positive effects on markers of heart function however, only one study for each was included. The authors conclude that the current science suggests a positive role for diet in relation to prevention of heart failure and call for further RCTs to be conducted to identify which elements of these different diets are impacting on markers of heart failure.
BACKGROUND Diet is an important factor in secondary prevention of heart failure (HF) but there is still no consensus as to which dietary model should be adopted by this population. This systematic review aims to clarify the relationship between dietary patterns and secondary prevention in HF. METHODS We searched the Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases for studies with different dietary patterns and outcomes of secondary prevention in HF. No limitation was used in the search. RESULTS 1119 articles were identified, 12 met the inclusion criteria. Studies with Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Mediterranean, Hyperproteic and Low-carb diets were found. The DASH pattern showed improvement in cardiac function, functional capacity, blood pressure, oxidative stress and mortality. The Mediterranean diet had a correlation with inflammation, quality of life and cardiac function but just on cross-sectional studies. Regarding the Hyperproteic and Low-carb diets only one study was found with each pattern and both were able to improve functional capacity in patients with HF. CONCLUSIONS DASH pattern may have benefits in the secondary prevention of HF. The Mediterranean diet demonstrated positive correlation with factors of secondary prevention of HF but need more RCTs and cohort studies to confirm these effects. In addition, the Hyperproteic and Low-carb diets, despite the lack of studies, also demonstrated positive effects on the functional capacity in patients with HF.
Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Specific Vegetable Types: A Narrative Review.
Plain language summary
Diets high in vegetables are linked with a lower incidence of chronic disease. Some vegetables may have much larger health benefits in comparison to others, and therefore dietary guidelines could be developed to include targeted advice on consuming specific types of vegetables with the greatest health benefits. This review of observational studies focused on the cardiovascular health benefits of specific vegetable types. Vegetables discussed in this review were grouped into the following types: leafy green, cruciferous, alliums, yellow-orange-red and legumes. These vegetables contain many nutrients and phytochemicals that have been proposed to have benefits for cardiovascular health. The authors looked at the results from nearly 100 observational studies. Most of the studies were carried out on older adults; some were focussed on a single gender (male or female), and some were mixed. Follow up periods in the studies ranged from 3 years to 28 years. Most of the studies relied on food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) to estimate vegetable consumption, and many did not define the size of a vegetable portion in grams. The percentage of studies demonstrating significant benefits of vegetable consumption on CVD ranged from 25% for legumes to 43% for leafy greens. The strongest beneficial effects on CVD risk were seen for leafy green and cruciferous vegetables. The authors concluded that the evidence in this review suggests intake of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables may confer strong cardiovascular health benefits. Increasing vegetable intake, with a focus on leafy green and cruciferous vegetables may provide the greatest benefits.
Conflicts of interest:
Educator for various organizations, such as Institute for Functional Medicine, American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine
This review highlights the role of specific types of vegetables based on color and nutrients for cardiovascular health benefit.
Implications for practice:
The authors investigated whether some vegetable types were more relevant for cardiovascular-related issues than others. Based on their review of the scientific literature, green, leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables were found to be most impactful.
Implications for research:
This review suggests that more research is needed to understand how certain plant foods, vegetables, and phytochemicals may be functionally important for certain organ systems.
Adequate vegetable consumption is one of the cornerstones of a healthy diet. The recommendation to increase vegetable intake is part of most dietary guidelines. Despite widespread and long-running public health messages to increase vegetable intake, similar to other countries worldwide, less than 1 in 10 adult Australians manage to meet target advice. Dietary guidelines are predominantly based on studies linking diets high in vegetables with lower risk of chronic diseases. Identifying vegetables with the strongest health benefits and incorporating these into dietary recommendations may enhance public health initiatives around vegetable intake. These enhanced public health initiatives would be targeted at reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Specific vegetable types contain high levels of particular nutrients and phytochemicals linked with cardiovascular health benefits. However, it is not clear if increasing intake of these specific vegetable types will result in larger benefits on risk of chronic diseases. This review presents an overview of the evidence for the relationships of specific types of vegetables, including leafy green, cruciferous, allium, yellow-orange-red and legumes, with subclinical and clinical CVD outcomes in observational epidemiological studies.
Spices and Atherosclerosis.
Plain language summary
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Atherosclerosis, characterised by the accumulation of fat and inflammation in blood vessels, is the main feature of CVD. Common spices such as pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon and chilli may have effects on the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. In this review, the authors focused on the potential protective effects of spices, in atherosclerosis and CVD. Most studies to date have been carried out either in cell culture or in animals. These have revealed various potential mechanisms by which spices exert their beneficial effects, including anti-oxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties. There are some human studies evaluating the effects of spices on high blood pressure. Although saffron, turmeric, and chilli pepper had no effect on blood pressure, cinnamon demonstrated significant blood pressure lowering effects in patients with diabetes. Garlic has been shown to have the potential to reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. These studies provide information on the beneficial roles of spices in reducing cardiovascular risk factors. The types of spices consumed vary across cultures, and currently there are no available population studies showing that consumption of spices is associated with reduction of CVD nor any recommendations for the amounts of spices to be consumed. The authors conclude that the consumption of spices should be encouraged across countries to promote good health.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Atherosclerosis, characterized by lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation in the vessel wall, is the main feature of cardiovascular disease. Although the amounts of fruits and vegetables present in the diets vary by country, diets, worldwide, contain large amounts of spices; this may have positive or negative effects on the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. In this review, we focused on the potential protective effects of specific nutrients from spices, such as pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon and chili, in atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms, epidemiological analysis, and clinical studies focusing on a variety of spices are covered in this review. Based on the integrated information, we aimed to raise specific recommendations for people with different dietary styles for the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease through dietary habit adjustments.
Yoga lifestyle intervention reduces blood pressure in HIV-infected adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors.
HIV medicine. 2010;11(6):379-88
Plain language summary
People with HIV are at increased risk of developing heart disease. The aim of this prospective, randomised, controlled study was to evaluate whether yoga improves cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, immune status or quality of life in adults with HIV. 60 HIV-infected adults with mild to moderate CVD risk were assigned to 20 weeks of either supervised yoga practice or standard of care treatment. Blood pressure reduced by 5 mmHg (systolic) and 3 mmHg (diastolic) in the yoga group, with a slight increase in blood pressure observed in the control group. There was an improvement in the emotional wellbeing of the yoga group compared to the control, but the difference was not statistically significant. There were no significant improvements in body weight, fat mass, blood lipids, glucose tolerance, immune markers or quality of life after yoga. The authors concluded that yoga is a lifestyle intervention that can lower blood pressure in HIV-infected adults with mild to moderate CVD risk factors.
OBJECTIVE People living with HIV infection are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Safe and effective interventions for lowering CVD risk in HIV infection are high priorities. We conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled study to evaluate whether a yoga lifestyle intervention improves CVD risk factors, virological or immunological status, or quality of life (QOL) in HIV-infected adults relative to standard of care treatment in a matched control group. METHODS Sixty HIV-infected adults with mild-moderate CVD risk were assigned to 20 weeks of supervised yoga practice or standard of care treatment. Baseline and week 20 measures were: 2-h oral glucose tolerance test with insulin monitoring, body composition, fasting serum lipid/lipoprotein profile, resting blood pressures, CD4 T-cell count and plasma HIV RNA, and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF)-36 health-related QOL inventory. RESULTS Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures improved more (P=0.04) in the yoga group (-5 +/- 2 and -3 +/- 1 mmHg, respectively) than in the standard of care group (+1 +/- 2 and+2 +/- 2 mmHg, respectively). However, there was no greater reduction in body weight, fat mass or proatherogenic lipids, or improvements in glucose tolerance or overall QOL after yoga. Immune and virological status was not adversely affected. CONCLUSION Among traditional lifestyle modifications, yoga is a low-cost, simple to administer, nonpharmacological, popular behavioural intervention that can lower blood pressure in pre-hypertensive HIV-infected adults with mild-moderate CVD risk factors.
Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on cardiovascular risk factors in older women with frailty characteristics.
Age and ageing. 2010;39(4):451-8
Plain language summary
Older women have the highest incidence of cardiovascular disease. This is thought to be partly due to declining hormone levels and changes in body composition with age. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that is associated with improved body composition and sense of wellbeing, and naturally declines with age. The aim of this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was to examine the effects of DHEA supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in older frail women. 88 women with low DHEA levels and an average age of 76 completed the 6-month study. Participants received either 50mg/day DHEA or a placebo for 6 months, along with exercise in the form of either yoga or chair aerobics. All participants also received calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation. Whilst DHEA supplementation increased the levels of sex hormones studied, cardiovascular risk factors such as abdominal fat, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and fasting glucose levels did not change. The authors concluded that short-term DHEA supplementation in older women increases levels of oestrogen and testosterone, but these changes may not have any impact on cardiovascular disease risk.
OBJECTIVE this analysis was to investigate the effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on cardiovascular risk factors in older women with frailty characteristics. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS the study was a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of 99 women (mean 76.6 +/- 6.0 year) with the low DHEA-S level and frailty. INTERVENTION participants received 50 mg/day DHEA or placebo for 6 months; all received calcium (1,000-1,200 mg/day diet) and supplement (combined) and cholecalciferol (1,000 IU/day). Women participated in 90-min twice weekly exercise regimens, either chair aerobics or yoga. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES assessment of outcome variables included hormone levels (DHEA-S, oestradiol, oestrone, testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)), lipid profiles (total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides), body composition measured by dual energy absorptiometry, glucose levels and blood pressure (BP). RESULTS eighty-seven women (88%) completed 6 months of study; 88% were pre-frail demonstrating 1-2 frailty characteristics and 12% were frail with > or =3 characteristics. There were significant changes in all hormone levels including DHEA-S, oestradiol, oestrone and testosterone and a decline in SHBG levels in those taking DHEA supplements. In spite of changes in hormone levels, there were no significant changes in cardiovascular risk factors including lipid profiles, body or abdominal fat, fasting glucose or BP. CONCLUSION research to date has not shown consistent effects of DHEA on cardiovascular risk, and this study adds to the literature that short-term therapy with DHEA is safe for older women in relation to cardiovascular risk factors. This study is novel in that we recruited women with evidence of physical frailty.
Separation of cinchona alkaloids, opium alkaloids, heroin, and related narcotics by dynamic-coating high-speed liquid chromaotgraphy.
Analytica chimica acta. 1973;63(2):393-402
Plain language summary
It has already been shown that replacing saturated fatty acids (SFA) with omega 6 (n-6) linoleic acid (LA) can reduce low density lipoproteins (LDL) which is hypothesised to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, this study looked at the prevention of secondary heart disease and mortality in recovered data from a single-blinded, parallel group, randomised controlled trial carried out between 1966-1973 which replaced dietary SFAs with n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) derived from safflower oil. This study also used this recovered data to update their meta-analysis published in 2010. The study was of 458 men who had suffered a recent coronary event and measured mortality over the 7 year period. Results showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol in the intervention group, however, it showed an increase in mortality. The study concluded that the mechanism of cardiovascular disease is independent of cholesterol levels which contradicts traditional understanding and worldwide dietary advice. The updated meta-analysis showed no benefit in replacing SFAs for n-6 or PUFAs for cardiovascular health.