A diet low in grains, beans and certain vegetables combined with supplements containing polyphenols improved endothelial reactivity in adults at high CV risk.
“Simple removal of ‘healthy’ lectin-containing foods, and taking a few inexpensive supplements, may restore endothelial function to normal, which in turn can reverse high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity,” Steven R. Gundry, MD, medical director of the International Heart and Lung Institute at The Center for Restorative Medicine, Palm Springs, Calif., said in a press release.
Steven R. Gundry
Gundry and colleagues studied 200 participants aged 51 to 86 years (40% women) with evidence of CVD risk factors. The participants were enrolled in a dietary program that restricted foods high in lectin, a sugar-binding protein. Restricted foods included grains, beans, fruit, poultry and plants belonging to the nightshade family. Emphasized foods included leafy green vegetables, shellfish and fish, olive oil and grass-fed animal protein. Participants were instructed to take 2,000 mg to 4,000 mg of high docosahexaenoic acid fish oil, 200 mg grape seed oil extract and 50 mg pycnogenol per day. Endothelial reactivity was assessed using peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT) before and after a 5-minute arm occlusion using the EndoPAT 2000 (Itamar) at baseline and at 6 months.
According to results presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Scientific Sessions, the participants’ mean endothelial reactivity was 1.88. Seventy-two percent of participants exhibited endothelial dysfunction (<1.6). At 6 months, mean endothelial reactivity increased to 2.25 (P<.01). Only 20% of participants exhibited endothelial dysfunction at 6 months, but all had increased endothelial reactivity numbers, according to the study abstract.
Ten participants stopped taking the polyphenol-containing supplements after a normal PAT; however, all developed endothelial dysfunction, based on repeat PAT.
For more information:
Gundry SR. Presentation #137. Presented at: American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Scientific Sessions; May 1-3, 2013; Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Disclosure: Gundry reports no relevant financial disclosures.