A team of researchers from Italy aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of a nutraceutical agent that contains fermented red rice, phytosterols, and olive polyphenols. In conducting the study, they recruited 80 Caucasian patients who were over 18 years old. These participants have low cardiovascular disease risk but are overweight.
The research team randomly gave the participants either a nutraceutical combination that contains fermented red rice, sterol esters and stanols, curcumin, and olive polyphenols or placebo that was a mixture of medium-chain triglycerides. Both treatments were taken once a day for a minimum of 100 days.
After enrollment, the participants went through a one month run-in period where they adhered to a controlled-energy diet. They were not treated with vitamins or mineral preparations during the study. All participants also underwent an initial screening assessment that included a medical history, and physical examination at the start of the study and after three months. In addition, they underwent an oral fat load at the baseline and at the end of the study.
The study revealed that the nutraceutical agent that contains fermented red rice, phytosterols, and olive polyphenols decreased the damage to blood vessels in people with low risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, it was also found that the nutraceutical was efficient in reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol when compared to baseline and to placebo. Meanwhile, the endothelial damage after an oral fat load improved after the intake of the nutraceutical combination compared to the placebo.
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“We think that the effect of nutraceutical combination on the OFL-dependent [oral fat load] release of the different adhesion molecules analysed can be explained by the improvement of lipid profile, and to the reduced endothelial damage,” the team said.
The team also explained that the reduction in the plasma levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides is probably because of the synergic action of fermented rice.
Mediterranean diet is good for the heart
If you want to have a healthy heart, adopt a Mediterranean diet. In a study published in 2013, it was found that adopting a Mediterranean diet is effective at preventing heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that following this dietary pattern even during midlife is beneficial as well. In this study, researchers assessed the dietary habits of more than 10,000 women in their 50s and 60s and compared them to how the women fared health-wise after 15 years. They found that those who followed a healthy diet during middle age have around 40 percent chance of going over the age of 70 without chronic illness and without physical or mental problems compared to those with less-healthy diets. The healthiest women were those who consumed more plant foods, whole grains, and fish; consumed less red and processed meats; and had limited alcohol intake.
Earlier research also revealed that a Mediterranean diet can help reduce cholesterol, aid in weight loss, improve rheumatoid arthritis, and lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and different types of cancer.
Tips on getting started on a Mediterranean diet:
- Sauté food in olive oil instead of butter.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake by eating them as a snack or including them in other recipes.
- Replace refined bread and pasta with whole grains.
- Have a fish meal in place of red meat at least twice a week.
Read more news stories and studies on diets that prevent certain diseases by going to Nutrients.news.