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Title: Bromelain and cardiovascular risk factors in diabetes
Author: Chit Moy, Ley
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2013
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The rising prevalence of diabetes worldwide now ranks alongside smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol disorder as an independent major risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Conventional therapy and dietary management using dietary supplements have been under consideration as measures to prevent or ameliorate the risk of developing complications of CVD in diabetes. A systematic review of the literature on bromelain (a pineapple enzyme) and CVD identified 7 animal studies and 3 human studies. Animal studies were conducted more recently and showed more promising results on bromelain and CVD than human studies. Existing evidence derived from 3 human studies in the systematic review, carried out in the 1970’s despite poor study design and lacking appropriate information on trial outcomes suggested that bromelain may have an effect on CVD risk factors. This research was inconclusive. Potential mechanisms for bromelain suggested that it may be useful for reducing plasma fibrinogen, preventing aggregation of blood platelets, increasing fibrinolytic activity and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent which is closely related to the pathogenesis of CVD complications in diabetes. This indicated that research into bromelain may provide new insights to help reduce the risk factors associated with CVD complications for people with diabetes. A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was initiated with the aim of assessing whether the dietary supplement (bromelain) had the potential to reduce plasma fibrinogen and other associated risk factors for CVD in diabetic patients. The RCT on 68 Chinese diabetic patients (32 males and 36 females; Han origin, mean age of 61.26 years (Standard Deviation, SD 12.62 years)) with at least one risk factor of CVD demonstrated that 12-week intervention of 1.05g/day bromelain failed to show a beneficial effect in reducing fibrinogen and other CVD risk factors such as blood lipids, blood glucose, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), anthropometric indicators and blood pressure. A placebo-controlled trial with a larger sample size with higher fibrinogen levels and/or individuals at greater risk of developing CVD would be needed in a future study. Exploring bromelain’s effect on inflammatory markers which could be a possible underlying mechanism in the pathogenesis of CVD in diabetes, may be a more fruitful focus for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available