Anti-Atherosclerotic Therapy Based on Botanicals
Alexander N. Orekhov, Igor A. Sobenin, Nikolay V. Korneev, Tatyana V. Kirichenko, Veronika A. Myasoedova, Alexandra A. Melnichenko, Mercedes Balcells, Elazer R. Edelman and Yuri V. Bobryshev
Affiliation: Faculty of Medicine, SOMS, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia.
Natural products including botanicals for both therapy of clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis and reduction
of atherosclerosis risk factors are topics of recent patents. Only a few recent patents are relevant to the direct antiatherosclerotic
therapy leading to regression of atherosclerotic lesions. Earlier, using a cellular model we have developed
and patented several anti-atherosclerotic drugs. The AMAR (Atherosclerosis Monitoring and Atherogenicity Reduction)
study was designed to estimate the effect of two-year treatment with time-released garlic-based drug Allicor on the progression
of carotid atherosclerosis in 196 asymptomatic men aged 40-74 in double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized
clinical study. The primary outcome was the rate of atherosclerosis progression, measured by high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography
as the increase in carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) of the far wall of common carotid arteries. The
mean rate of IMT changes in Allicor-treated group (-0.022±0.007 mm per year) was significantly different (P = 0.002)
from the placebo group in which there was a moderate progression of 0.015±0.008 mm at the overall mean baseline IMT
of 0.931±0.009 mm. A significant correlation was found between the changes in blood serum atherogenicity (the ability of
serum to induce cholesterol accumulation in cultured cells) during the study and the changes in intima-media thickness of
common carotid arteries (r = 0.144, P = 0.045). Thus, the results of AMAR study demonstrate that long-term treatment
with Allicor has a direct anti-atherosclerotic effect on carotid atherosclerosis and this effect is likely to be due to serum
atherogenicity inhibition. The beneficial effects of other botanicals including Inflaminat (calendula, elder and violet), phytoestrogen-
rich Karinat (garlic powder, extract of grape seeds, green tea leafs, hop cones, β-carotene, α-tocopherol and
ascorbic acid) on atherosclerosis have also been revealed in clinical studies which enforces a view that botanicals might
represent promising drugs for anti-atherosclerotic therapy.
Keywords: Anti-atherosclerotic therapy, atherosclerosis, botanicals, clinical studies, intima-media thickness, natural products,
ultrasonography of carotid arteries.
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