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doi: 10.1097/01.hjh.0000379924.31811.e8

In patients with metabolic syndrome (MS), reduction of blood pressure (BP) may contribute to remove this diagnosis, which is associated with doubled cardiovascular (CV) risk. However, guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension suggest that use of pharmacological antihypertensive treatment is not indicated for this kind of patients when BP values do not reach the hypertension threshold. Thus we investigated the effects of a combination of nutraceuticals (Orthosiphon stamineus, coenzyme Q10, berberine, red yeast rice extract, policosanol and folic acid) (Armolipid Prev, Rottapharm Spa) on BP values in patients with MS. After 2 weeks with a standardized diet, 30 patients with MS were randomized to 4-week treatment with placebo (A) or the combination of nutraceuticals (B), and BP was measured before and after treatment. The reduction in systolic & diastolic BP values was -19.6 ± 9.7 & –13.6 ± 5.5 mmHg in group A and -3.6 ± 8.1 & -2.3 ± 5.3 mmHg in group B (p < 0.0001). After treatment only 5 patients in A vs 12 in B still satisfied the diagnosis of MS (p < 0.01).

In order to evaluate whether the antihypertensive effects was accounted for by the presence of Orthosiphon stamineus, in a further group of 22 patients with MS we performed a 24-hour non-invasive ambulatory BP monitoring in baseline conditions and after 4 weeks of treatment with the combination of nutraceutical previously described with (n = 13) (C) or without (n = 9) (D) Orthosiphon stamineus. The 24-hour reduction in systolic & diastolic BP value after treatment was -4.0 ± 5.3 & -2.2 ± 3.5 mmHg in group C (p < 0.005), while it was not statistically significant in group D (+2.8 ± 4.1 & +1.5 ± 3.9).

Thus, nutraceuticals may represent a new promising not pharmacological approach to associate to therapeutic lifestyle changes in order to obtain a greater improvement in CV prognosis in patients with MS.

1Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Sciences, Naples, Italy

2Department of Neurosciences, Naples, Italy

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.