According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) almost 650,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. It is still the leading cause of death for men and women, and its impact ranges across many populations.
Although diet and exercise can be major risk factors for the condition, some people are simply more susceptible than others, despite their best efforts. And while many individuals may not suffer from heart disease per se, they may have elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, or other contributing factors. Fortunately, an herb used in Ayurvedic practice for centuries, andrographis, may help.
One of the primary compounds in Andrographis paniculata, called andrographolide, is considered most responsible for the herb’s benefits. In this scientific study, andrographolide reduced the effects of a high fat diet, preventing heart damage and preserving natural protective components in the body that protect the cardiovascular system.
This isn’t to say that it’s okay to eat whatever you’d like and still be heart smart, it does show another remarkable ability of an adaptogenic herb that has been used in traditional practice for thousands of years and is now becoming more appreciated around the world.
Lin KH, Marthandam Asokan S, Kuo WW, et al. Andrographolide mitigates cardiac apoptosis to provide cardio-protection in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice [published online ahead of print, 2020 Feb 5]. Environ Toxicol. 2020;10.1002/tox.22906.
Excessive intake of high fat diet (HFD) and associated obese conditions are critical contributors of cardiac diseases. In this study, an active metabolite andrographolide from Andrographis paniculata was found to ameliorate HFD-induced cardiac apoptosis. C57/BL6 mouse were grouped as control (n = 9), obese (n = 8), low dose (25 mg/kg/d) andrographolide treatment (n = 9), and high dose (50 mg/kg/d) andrographolide treatment (n = 9). The control group was provided with standard laboratory chow and the other groups were fed with HFD. Andrographolide was administered through oral gavage for 1 week. Histopathological analysis showed increase in apoptotic nuclei and considerable cardiac-damages in the obese group signifying cardiac remodeling effects. Further, Western blot results showed increase in pro-apoptotic proteins and decrease in the proteins of IGF-1R-survival signaling. However, feeding of andrographolide significantly reduced the cardiac effects of HFD. The results strongly suggest that andrographolide supplementation can be used for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in obese patients.
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