[Clinical Research] Isoflavonoid Preparation Improves Atherosclerosis in Postmenopausal Women
Tori Hudson, ND
Author: Myasoedova VA, Kirichenko TV, Melnichenko AA, et al.
Reference: Anti-atherosclerotic effects of a phytoestrogen-rich herbal preparation in postmenopausal women. Int J Mol Sci. August 2016;17(8):1318.
Design: This study was conducted in an outpatient clinic at Moscow State University in Russia. An herbal preparation Karinat, from Russia, was used and each capsule contained tannins from 40 mg grape (Vitis vinifera, Vitaceae) seeds, 115 mg green tea (Camellia sinensis, Theaceae) leaves, 160 mg hops (Humulus lupulus, Cannabaceae), cone powder, and 100 mg garlic (Allium sativum, Amaryllidaceae) powder. The herbal total was 500 mg per capsule and 3 capsules were consumed each day away from meals for 12 months. Three capsules provide an estimated 27.3 mg procyanidin, 2.5 mg genistein, 11.8 mg daidzein, 4.6 mg flavones, 3.5 mg resveratrol, and 44.6 mg of other polyphenolic compounds.
The 157 women who met the inclusion criteria were randomly assigned to receive either 3 Karinat capsules (n=77) or placebo capsules (n=80) daily for 12 months.
Clinical and laboratory examinations included anthropometric parameters; personal and family history of arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease; lipid profile; B-mode ultrasound examination of common carotid arteries; and evaluation of the severity of any menopausal symptoms by using the Blatt-Kupperman menopausal index. Evaluation was done at baseline and after 12 months of treatment.
Participants: The study included patients who were postmenopausal for at least 5 years, had a maximum carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) >0.80 mm as determined by B-mode ultrasonography of the carotid arteries, and had no recurring menopausal symptoms.
The proportion of patients with diabetes was higher in the Karinat Group. At study entry, the clinical and laboratory parameters were similar among patients in both groups except for systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, which were both higher in the placebo group. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the Karinat group.
Primary outcome: The study’s primary endpoint was the rate of cIMT progression.
Key findings: While 157 patients were enrolled, 57 in the Karinat group and 74 in the placebo group completed the study.
After 12 months, blood lipid levels decreased in both groups although between group differences were not significant.
In the Karinat group, no significant increase of mean cIMT was observed and was less than 1%, and a growth of atherosclerotic plaque percentage of 27% plaque compared to baseline. In the placebo group, the increment of mean cIMT was more than 13%, and the growth of atherosclerotic plaque accounted for 50% of the baseline value. This indicates a higher rate of atherosclerosis progression than in the isoflavonoid group.
We have multiple natural ingredients that have vascular benefits, and it’s not surprising to see that a combination of these 3 plants would slow progression of atherosclerotic plaque.
Postmenopausal women are vulnerable to the increased rate of vascular aging and cardiovascular disease, so it is indeed an important issue in this population. In this study, mean cIMT progression was slower in postmenopausal women who received the isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation compared with women who received placebo and the herbal preparation also decreased total cholesterol and LDL-C levels after 12 months.
Isoflavonoids inhibit lipid deposition and improve plasma lipid profiles but there has been limited evidence about their effects on the progression of atherosclerosis. While the results of this study are limited by the short duration of this study and the small size, the results do indeed implicate this potential benefit of an isoflavonoid rich supplement to prevent atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women.