J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2013;2(2):23-28.
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Original Article

Potential role of a nutraceutical spice (Allium hirtifolium) in reduction of atherosclerotic plaques

Mahmoud Rafieian-kopaei 1, Mahtab Keshvari 2, Sedigheh Asgary 2 * , Maryam Salimi 1, Esfandiar Heidarian 3

1 Medical Plants Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
2 Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research institute, Physiology Research Center, Isfahan University of medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Clinical Biochemistry Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
*Corresponding author: Sedigheh Asgary. Email: sasgary@yahoo.com

Abstract

Introduction: Spices are now considered as agents that not only can prevent but may even treat chronic diseases. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of Allium hirtifolium as a hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic substance in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

Methods: Twenty four adult New Zealand male rabbits were divided randomly into 3 groups of 8 animals each and treated for 60 days as follows. Normal group received basal feed, while the two intervention groups were fed with hypercholesterolemic diet (1% cholesterol) and hypercholesterolemic diet plus A. hirtifolium extract, respectively. At the start and the end of the experiment, fasting blood was taken from all animals. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), apolipoproteins A and B, serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), glucose and insulin were measured at the end of supplementation period in all studied groups. Atherosclerotic plaque thickness of aorta to media was also determined in all groups.

Results: Rabbits fed only with high cholesterol diet showed increased atherosclerotic plaque thickness to media compared to the control group, while the group fed with hypercholesterolemia diet plus A. hirtifolium extract significantly decreased atherosclerotic plaque thickness to media, TC, TG, LDL-C, and significantly increased HDL-C compared to hypercholesterolemic diet group. Supplementation with A. hirtifolium extract did not cause any significant alteration in apolipoproteins, SGOT, SGPT, hs-CRP, glucose and insulin compared to the hypercholesterolemic diet group (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Ethanolic extract of A. hirtifolium ameliorates fatty lesions in aorta and may reduce risk factors of cardiovascular diseases.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

Ethanolic extract of Allium hirtifolium ameliorates fatty lesions in aorta and may reduce atherosclerosis risk factors. Therefore, its consumption may be useful in cardiovascular diseases.

Please cite this paper as: Rafieian-kopaei M, Keshvari M , Asgary S, Salimi M, Heidarian E. Potential role of a nutraceutical spice (Allium hirtifolium) in reduction of atherosclerotic plaques. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2013; 2(2): 23-28.

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First published online: 01 Dec 2013
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