Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the Nation's leading killer for both men and women among all racial and ethnic groups. Development and progression of CVD is linked to the presence of risk factors such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. It is known that cholesterol is an indicator of increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Low-density cholesterol (LDL) above 130 mg/dl high-density cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol below 35 mg/dl and total blood cholesterol above 200 mg/dl are indicators of problematic cholesterol. Proper ranges of cholesterol are important in the prevention of CVD. It has been suggested that a reduction in the consumption of saturated and an increase in unsaturated fatty acids is beneficial and prevents CVD. Amaranth grain contains tocotrienols and squalene compounds, which are known to affect cholesterol biosynthesis. The cholesterol precursors squalene, lanosterol and other methyl sterols, reflect cholesterol synthesis 123, whereas plant sterols and cholestanol, a metabolite of cholesterol, reflect the efficiency of cholesterol absorption in normal and hyperlipidemic populations 456. Qureshi with co-authors 7 showed that feeding of chickens with amaranth oil decreases blood cholesterol levels, which are supported by the work of others 8. Previously, we have shown that Amaranth oil modulates the cell membrane fluidity 9 and stabilized membranes that could be one reason as to why it is beneficial to those who consume it. It is known that in hypertension, the cell membrane is defective and hence, the movement of the Na and K ions across the cell membranes could defective that could contribute to the development of increase in blood pressure. Based on these properties of amaranth oil we hypothesize that it could be of significant benefit for patients with CVD.
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