Monday, May 07, 2012


I have not written on nutriceuticals for awhile. Nutriceuticals are that group of food and food products which have a medicinal effect on our body. The best example, I suppose i fish oil, wine, garlic and the like.
Well, at the recently concluded European Society of Hypertension annual scientific meeting in London, Dr Guiseppa Crippa of Piacenza University, presented a paper on the effects of Grana Padano cheese on mild hypertension.
He and colleagues studied 45 patients with mild hypertension. 29 were given their usual antihypertensives ( except ACE-I and ARBs ) with 30 grams of Grana Padano Cheese a day for 2 months and the 16 patients who act as controls were just told not to take the grana padano cheese for 2 months. At the end of study, they found that those who were on grana padano cheese, had a BP about 7-8 mmHg lower then the controlled arm. They measured BP by clinic monitoring as well as ambulatory BP monitoring.
It is important to note that this is an open labelled trial, meaning that the patients know what they were on. The 7-8 mmHg BP lowering is in the same range as the amount of BP lowering achieved in ACE-I and ARB trials.
I find it heartening that such a nice food like cheese, with a glass of red wine, is so good for heart and of course is for those of us who like wine, so pleasurable too. Why not then?
It is important to note that this may not be true for all cheese. Some cheese contain too much salt and also fats. For some reason, the grana padano cheese has a low amount of salt and also fat.
A quick such of wikipedia shows that this cheese is popular in Italy and is sold basing on the months of maturity, 9 months, 16 months and 20 months. Needless to say, the more matured the grana padano cheese the better.
Needless to say, the authors of this paper is from Piacenza, and the grana padano cheese is also popular in Piacenza.
I will certainly, be looking out for this cheese and even more importantly, for more data on the anti-hypertensive effects of grana padano cheese.

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