Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes – Source: Diabetes Care, Nov 2007

[Note: Salba® is a registered variety of Salvia hispanica L. – a tiny nutrient-rich, gluten-free whole ‘seed’ first used as a dietary staple and energy remedy by the ancient Aztecs. To read the full text of this article, including more information about the nutritional composition of this food, click here.]

Objective: To determine whether addition of Salba (Salvia hispanica L.), a novel whole grain that is rich in fiber, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and minerals to conventional treatment is associated with improvement in major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Research Design and Methods: Using a single-blind cross-over design, subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 37 ± 4 g/day of Salba or wheat bran for 12 weeks while maintaining their conventional diabetes therapies. Twenty well-controlled subjects with type 2 diabetes (11 men and 9 women, aged 64 ± 8 years, BMI 28 ± 4 kg/m2, and A1C 6.8 ± 0.9%) completed the study. This study was set in the outpatient clinic of the Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

Results: Compared with the control treatment, Salba reduced:

• Systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 6.3 ± 4 mmHg (P < 0.001),
• High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (mg/l) by 40 ± 1.6% (P = 0.04),
• And vonWillebrand factor (vWF) by 21 ± 0.3% (P = 0.03)
• With significant decreases in A1C and fibrinogen…

…in relation to the Salba baseline, but not with the control treatment.

There were no changes in safety parameters including liver, kidney and hemostatic function, or body weight.

Both plasma ALA and eicosapentaenoic polyunsaturated fatty acid levels were increased twofold (P < 0.05) while consuming Salba. [EPA is an omega-3 fatty acid.]

Conclusions: Long-term supplementation with Salba attenuated a major cardiovascular risk factor (SBP) and emerging factors (hs-CRP and vWF) safely beyond conventional therapy, while maintaining good glycemic and lipid control in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

Source: Diabetes Care, Nov 2007;30(11):2804-2810. PMID 17686832, by Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogovik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A. Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital; Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [E-mail: vuksan@utoronto.ca]

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