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Effects of a New Combination of Nutraceuticals with Morus alba on Lipid Profile, Insulin Sensitivity and Endotelial Function in Dyslipidemic Subjects. A Cross-Over, Randomized, Double-Blind Trial

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      Nutraceuticals (NUT) are forms of compounds with biological activity commonly used to improve health in dosage largely exceeding those obtainable in food.


      We compared, in a double blind randomized cross-over trial, the effects of two NUT combinations on the control of glico-lipidic metabolism in patients with hypercholesterolemia not on statins.


      At study start patients were given dietary counseling and received placebo for 2 weeks. After this run-in period, patients were randomized: (1) Combination A [Policosanol, Red yeast rice (Monakolin K 3 mg), Berberine 500 mg, Astaxantine, Folic Acid and Coenzyme Q10] for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of Combination B [Red yeast rice (Monakolin K 3.3 mg), Berberine 531.25 mg and leaf extract of Morus alba]; (2) Combination B for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of Combination A.


      Combination B reduced LDL cholesterol below 130 mg/dl in 56.5 % of the patients, and Cambination A only in 21.7 % of them (p ≤ 0.027). Both treatments reduced plasma levels of triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol (all p < 0.03). Total and LDL cholesterol reduction was more pronounced in patients taking Combination B (p < 0.005). Combination B reduced also glycated hemoglobin, fasting glucose and insulin plasma levels as well as HOMA index (p < 0.005).


      An increased content of Berberin and Monacolin K and the addition of Morus alba extract improves the effect on plasma cholesterol and on glucose metabolism of the NUT Combination. These effects may allow the speculation of a more marked improvement in cardiovascular prognosis.

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      Most cited references 17

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      Homeostasis model assessment: insulin resistance and beta-cell function from fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in man.

      The steady-state basal plasma glucose and insulin concentrations are determined by their interaction in a feedback loop. A computer-solved model has been used to predict the homeostatic concentrations which arise from varying degrees beta-cell deficiency and insulin resistance. Comparison of a patient's fasting values with the model's predictions allows a quantitative assessment of the contributions of insulin resistance and deficient beta-cell function to the fasting hyperglycaemia (homeostasis model assessment, HOMA). The accuracy and precision of the estimate have been determined by comparison with independent measures of insulin resistance and beta-cell function using hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic clamps and an intravenous glucose tolerance test. The estimate of insulin resistance obtained by homeostasis model assessment correlated with estimates obtained by use of the euglycaemic clamp (Rs = 0.88, p less than 0.0001), the fasting insulin concentration (Rs = 0.81, p less than 0.0001), and the hyperglycaemic clamp, (Rs = 0.69, p less than 0.01). There was no correlation with any aspect of insulin-receptor binding. The estimate of deficient beta-cell function obtained by homeostasis model assessment correlated with that derived using the hyperglycaemic clamp (Rs = 0.61, p less than 0.01) and with the estimate from the intravenous glucose tolerance test (Rs = 0.64, p less than 0.05). The low precision of the estimates from the model (coefficients of variation: 31% for insulin resistance and 32% for beta-cell deficit) limits its use, but the correlation of the model's estimates with patient data accords with the hypothesis that basal glucose and insulin interactions are largely determined by a simple feed back loop.
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        2013 ESH/ESC guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension: the Task Force for the Management of Arterial Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

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          ESC/EAS Guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias: the Task Force for the management of dyslipidaemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS).

          Cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to atherosclerosis of the arterial vessel wall and to thrombosis is the foremost cause of premature mortality and of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in Europe, and is also increasingly common in developing countries.1 In the European Union, the economic cost of CVD represents annually E192 billion1 in direct and indirect healthcare costs. The main clinical entities are coronary artery disease (CAD), ischaemic stroke, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The causes of these CVDs are multifactorial. Some of these factors relate to lifestyles, such as tobacco smoking, lack of physical activity, and dietary habits, and are thus modifiable. Other risk factors are also modifiable, such as elevated blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidaemias, or non-modifiable, such as age and male gender. These guidelines deal with the management of dyslipidaemias as an essential and integral part of CVD prevention. Prevention and treatment of dyslipidaemias should always be considered within the broader framework of CVD prevention, which is addressed in guidelines of the Joint European Societies’ Task forces on CVD prevention in clinical practice.2 – 5 The latest version of these guidelines was published in 20075; an update will become available in 2012. These Joint ESC/European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) guidelines on the management of dyslipidaemias are complementary to the guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice and address not only physicians [e.g. general practitioners (GPs) and cardiologists] interested in CVD prevention, but also specialists from lipid clinics or metabolic units who are dealing with dyslipidaemias that are more difficult to classify and treat.

            Author and article information

            [ ]Department of Neurosciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy
            [ ]Hypertension Research Center, Federico II University, Naples, Italy
            [ ]Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy
            [ ]Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy
            +39 081 7462250/6 ,
            High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev
            High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev
            High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention
            Springer International Publishing (Cham )
            14 April 2015
            14 April 2015
            : 22
            : 2
            : 149-154
            25870124 4461797 87 10.1007/s40292-015-0087-2
            © The Author(s) 2015

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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