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Effects of nutraceuticals on prevalence of metabolic syndrome and on calculated Framingham Risk Score in individuals with dyslipidemia

Izzo, Raffaelea; de Simone, Giovannib; Giudice, Renataa; Chinali, Marcellob; Trimarco, Valentinac; De Luca, Nicolaa; Trimarco, Brunoa

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283395208
Original papers: Metabolic aspects

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

Objectives To investigate whether addition of NUTs to lifestyle management including diet counseling improves lipid profile and reduces cardiovascular risk and prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Methods One thousand, three hundred and eighty, 18–80-year-old nondiabetic participants with dyslipidemia, with or without MetS not requiring pharmacological therapy were assigned to diet; after 2 weeks, 690 patients were also given NUT combination over other 8 weeks. Fasting plasma glucose and lipid compounds were measured by standard methods. Waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) were measured at each visit. MetS was defined according to ATPIII guidelines. Ten-year risk of coronary heart disease was calculated using the Framingham Risk Score (FRS).

Results At baseline, NUT patients were older and more dyslipidemic than placebo, with no difference in other cardiovascular risk factors and prevalence of MetS. After 8 weeks, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was increased and diastolic BP, waist girth, triglycerides, total and non-HDL cholesterol were significantly reduced in NUT than in the placebo group, whereas systolic BP and fasting glucose did not change. Prevalence of MetS was also significantly lower in the NUT (36.1%) than in placebo (48.1%, P < 0.05) and reduction in the FRS greater (73.3 vs. 52%, respectively; P < 0.0001).

Conclusion In a large clinical sample of patients with moderate cardiovascular risk, combination of NUT with dietary counseling reduces central obesity, improves lipid profile, diastolic BP and FRS, and decreases prevalence of MetS.

aDepartment of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences, Italy

bDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Italy

cDepartment of Neuroscience, Federico II University, Naples, Italy

Received 10 December, 2009

Revised 4 February, 2010

Accepted 3 March, 2010

Correspondence to Bruno Trimarco, MD, Department of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences, Federico II University, via Sergio Pansini 5 bld 2, 80131 Naples, Italy Tel: +39 081 7462250; fax: +39 081 7462256; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.