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1.  Relationship between blood peroxidases activity and visfatin levels in metabolic syndrome patients 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(4):218-226.
BACKGROUND
The observed relationships between visfatin, peroxidases activity, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are inconsistent; therefore, this study was undertaken to understand these relationships.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study was conducted as a part of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, Iran. A blood sample of 90 MetS and non-MetS patients were used to estimate total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TGs), fasting blood glucose (FBG), waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), visfatin and peroxidases activity. Data analysis for MetS group was carried out in two ways. (1) MetS with three components and with > 3 components. (2) MetS with hyperglycemia and without hyperglycemia.
RESULTS
SBP, DBP, WC, FBG, TC, TG, LDL-C, and were higher and HDL-C levels was lower in MetS patients. There was a significant correlation between visfatin levels and peroxidases activity in MetS patients with three components. Levels of visfatin were significantly higher in male as compared to female subjects in the MetS with three components group. There was a significant decrease in peroxidases activity in > 45 years old subjects in the MetS with > 3 components group. A significant correlation was observed between serum visfatin levels and FBG in the MetS without hyperglycemia group.
CONCLUSION
Peroxidases activities in MetS patients can be related to visfatin levels. Gender influences on peroxidases activity probably and was lower in female patients with MetS. Hyperglycemia does not influence peroxidases activities and visfatin levels.
PMCID: PMC4173313  PMID: 25258638
Peroxidase; Metabolic Syndrome; Visfatin
2.  Clinical investigation of the acute effects of pomegranate juice on blood pressure and endothelial function in hypertensive individuals 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(6):326-331.
BACKGROUND
Pomegranate juice (PJ) is rich in bioactive phytochemicals with antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective functions. The present trial investigated the acute effects of PJ consumption on blood pressure and markers of endothelial function.
METHODS
In this single-arm study, thirteen hypertensive men aged 39-68 years were recruited. Included subjects were assigned to natural PJ (150 ml/day) following a 12 hour fast. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and flow-mediated dilation (FMD), along with serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured at baseline and 4-6 hours after PJ consumption.
RESULTS
Comparison of pre- vs. post-trial values revealed a significant reduction in both SBP (7%; P = 0.013) and DBP (6%; P < 0.010). However, changes in FMD (20%) as well as circulating levels of CRP, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin, and IL-6 did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.172).
CONCLUSION
PJ has promising acute hypotensive properties. Consumption of PJ could be considered in the context of both dietary and pharmacological interventions for hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3933059  PMID: 24575134
Punica Granatum L.; Cardiovascular Disease; Hypertension; Inflammation; Endothelium-Dependent Dilation
3.  Impacts of fresh lime juice and peel on atherosclerosis progression in an animal model 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(6):357-362.
BACKGROUND
The main protective role of antioxidants in the progression of atherosclerosis has been shown in some studies. Therefore, this project evaluated the effects of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) juice and peel on antioxidant activity and atherosclerosis progression in rabbits receiving a hypercholesterolemic diet.
METHODS
Forty white New Zealand male rabbits were randomly allocated to four groups. All groups were on hypercholesterolemic diet for two months. While the first group was considered as the hypercholesterolemic control, groups 2 and 3 (intervention groups) received 5 ml/day lime juice and 1 g/day dried lime peel powder, respectively. Group 4 was fed a normal diet (normal control). Before and after the study, weight was measured and a fasting blood specimen was taken from the rabbits. Serum lipids analyses and antioxidant activity evaluations were then performed. The rabbits’ aorta and coronary arteries were separated and the presence of fatty streaks was studied.
RESULTS
Comparing to the hypercholesterolemic control group (-25.2 ± 7.0), only the plasma total antioxidant capacity change was significantly more in rabbits supplemented with lime juice (16.3 ± 14.7) and peel (8.6 ± 7.1) (P = 0.008). The presence of fatty streaks in coronary arteries and aorta of the intervention groups [juice (0.2 ± 0.01); peel (0.0 ± 0.00)] was significantly decreased compared to the hypercholesterolemic control group (1.2 ± 0.4) (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION
Based on our findings, Citrus aurantifolia peel and juice increase plasma antioxidant capacity in rabbits, and can thus prevent or decelerate the process of atherogenesis. However, lime peel is more effective than lime juice.
PMCID: PMC3933061  PMID: 24575139
Animal; Atherosclerosis; Atherogenic Diet; Fatty Streak; Intervention; Lime
4.  Preventive effect of cinnamon essential oil on lipid oxidation of vegetable oil 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(5):280-286.
BACKGROUND
Lipid oxidation is the main deterioration process that occurs in vegetable oils. This process was effectively prevented by natural antioxidants. Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon) is rich with antioxidants. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of cinnamon on malondialdehyde (MDA) rate production in two high consumption oils in Iranian market.
METHODS
Chemical composition of cinnamon essential oil was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). 200 µl each oil, 50 µl tween 20, and 2 ml of 40 Mm AAPH solutions were mixed and the prepared solution was divided into four glass vials. Respectively, 50 µl of 500, 1000 and 2000 ppm of cinnamon essential oil were added to three glass vials separately and one of the glass vials was used as the control. All of the glass vials were incubated at 37° C water bath. Rate of MDA production was measured by thiobarbituric acid (TBA) test at the baseline and after the 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 5 hours.
RESULTS
Compounds of cinnamon essential oil by GC-MS analysis such as cinnamaldehyde (96.8%), alpha-capaene (0.2%), alpha-murolene (0.11%), para-methoxycinnamaldehyde (0.6%) and delta-cadinen (0.4%) were found to be the major compounds. For both oils, maximum rate of MDA production was achieved in 5th hours of heating. Every three concentrations of cinnamon essential oil significantly decreased MDA production (P < 0.05) in comparison with the control.
CONCLUSION
Essential oil of cinnamon considerably inhibited MDA production in studied oils and can be used with fresh and heated oils for reduction of lipid peroxidation and adverse free radicals effects on body.
PMCID: PMC3845693  PMID: 24302936
Cinnamon; Essential Oil; Lipid Peroxidation; Vegetable Oils
5.  Differences in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in boys and girls based on various definitions 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):70-76.
BACKGROUND
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is increasing among children and adolescents. However, the prevalence of this disorder varies based on its different definitions. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of MetS in Iranian adolescents in junior high and high schools according to the definitions provided by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and De Ferranti.
METHODS
Overall, 1039 junior high school and 953 high school students were selected using multistage random sampling. Demographic data was collected using validated questionnaires. Fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were determined. Waist circumference and blood pressure were measured by trained individuals. Subjects with MetS were selected according to two definitions provided by the IDF and De Ferranti. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare the prevalence of MetS and its components based on sex, school level, and the two definitions.
RESULTS
The mean age of junior high and high school students was 13.11 ± 1.21ad 15.93 ± 1.07 years old, respectively. The prevalence of MetS among all participants was 4.8% and 12.7% according to the definitions by the IDF and De Ferranti, respectively. It was significantly higher among boys compared to girls. According to the IDF definition, low HDL-C and hypertension were the most frequent components. Based on the De Ferranti, abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia were the most frequent components.
CONCLUSION
The prevalence of MetS was higher in both groups of students based on De Ferranti definition compared to the IDF definition. The prevalence was not significantly different in boys and girls. Further studies to investigate the most suitable definition of MetS for Iranian adolescents are necessary.
PMCID: PMC3653251  PMID: 23696762
Metabolic Syndrome; Adolescence; International Diabetes Federation and De Ferranti
6.  Effects of Citrus sinensis juice on blood pressure 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):98-101.
BACKGROUND
Citrus sinensis juice (CSJ) is a rich source of dietary flavonoids which reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. This study aimed to examine the effects of four-week intake of natural and commercial orange (Citrus sinensis) juice on blood pressure in healthy volunteers.
METHODS
In this single-blind randomized crossover study, 22 healthy subjects (age: 18-59 years old) were included and randomly divided into two groups of 11. Group A consumed commercial CSJ during the first four-week period. After a two-week washout period, they consumed natural CSJ for another four weeks. The procedure was reversed in group B. The participants were asked to drink 500 ml/day of either natural or commercial CSJ twice a day with breakfast and dinner. The effects of orange juice on blood pressure were evaluated.
RESULTS
After drinking commercial CSJ, diastolic and systolic blood pressure were significantly decreased (5.13%; P = 0.03 and -5.91%; P = 0.003, respectively). However, consumption of natural CSJ did not have significant effects on either diastolic or systolic blood pressure.
CONCLUSION
Commercial CSJ significantly decreased blood pressure. Higher flavonoid, pectin, and essential oils content of concentrated products compared to natural juice might have been responsible for this finding. Nevertheless, further studies to focus on dose-response effects are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3653258  PMID: 23696766
Citrus Sinensis Juice; Hypertension; Blood Pressure
7.  Efficiency of black cumin seeds on hematological factors in normal and hypercholesterolemic rabbits 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):146-150.
BACKGROUND:
Hypercholesterolemia is among the most common health problems treated with traditional remedies. Nigella sativa (NS) is an effective plant for treating hypercholesterolemia. However, the effects of this herb on hematologic factors and hemostasis system have not been elucidated. This study was designed to investigate the effects of NS on these factors in both normal and hypercholesterolemic rabbits.
METHODS:
In this research, twenty rabbits were randomly distributed into four groups of five. The groups received four different diets, namely normal, normal + NS (5%), hypercholesterolemic (1% cholesterol), and hypercholesterolemic (1% cholesterol) + NS (5%), for 8 weeks. After this period, WBC (white blood cell), RBC (red blood cell), HTC (hematocrit), HGB (hemoglobin content), PLT (platelet), fibrinogen (FIB) and factors VII (F VII) were measured.
RESULTS:
Using NS significantly increased PLT count in the normal group. In addition, it significantly decreased WBC counts in the hypercholesterolemic group (P < 0.05). However, dietary use of NS did not have any effects on other hematologic factors including RBC, HTC, HGB, FIB, and F VII (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION:
Increased PLT numbers might cause enhanced coagulation. The achieved results call for more research on the effects of various diets (hypercholesterolemic and normal diet) supplemented with NS on different coagulation factors and hemostasis system.
PMCID: PMC3413082  PMID: 23205047
Hematological Factors; Hypercholesterolemia; Nigella Sativa L.; Rabbit
8.  The relation between dietary intake of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels in central Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):168-175.
BACKGROUND:
The detrimental effects of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs) on apolipoproteins have been reported from several parts of the world. However, little data is available in this regard from the understudied region of the Middle East. The present study therefore tried to evaluate the association between type of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels among Iranians.
METHODS:
In this cross-sectional study, data from 1772 people (795 men and 977 women) aged 19–81 years, who were selected with multistage cluster random sampling method from three cities of Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak in “Isfahan Healthy Heart Program” (IHHP) (Iran), was used. To assess participants' usual dietary intakes, a validated food frequency questionnaire was used. Hydrogenated vegetable oil (commonly consumed for cooking in Iran) and margarine were considered as the category of PHVOs. Soy, sunflower, corn, olive and canola oils were considered as non-HVOs. After an overnight fasting, serum cholesterol (total, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol) and triglyceride as well as apolipoproteins A and B were measured using standard methods.
RESULTS:
Participants with the highest intakes of non-HVOs and PHVOs were younger and had lower weight than those with lowest intakes. High consumption of non-HVOs and PHVOs was associated with lower intakes of energy, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and grains. No overall significant differences were found in serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels across the quartiles of non-HVOs and PHVOs after controlling for potential confounding.
CONCLUSION:
We did not find any significant associations between hydrogenated or nonhydrogenated vegetable oil and serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. Thus, further studies are needed in this region to explore this association.
PMCID: PMC3413086  PMID: 23205051
Vegetable Oils; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Lipids; Apolipoproteins; Diet
9.  The effects of a comprehensive community trial on cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):184-190.
BACKGROUND:
This study aimed to assess the effects of a 6-year-long community-participatory program including school-based interventions on mean values and prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors among adolescents.
METHODS:
The interventions of this community trial, conducted from 2000 to 2007 in Iran, targeted the whole population (of nearly two millions) living in two cities considered as the intervention area (IA) in comparison with a reference area (RA). Data from surveys conducted before and after interventions was used to compare the differences between the secondary school students of the IA and RA.
RESULTS:
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia declined significantly in girls and boys in the IA (P < 0.01). The prevalence of high LDL-C decreased significantly in the girls in the RA (P = 0.002). Among both sexes in the IA, the prevalence of low HDL-C increased significantly (P < 0.001), whereas it decreased in the girls and boys in the RA (P = 0.04). Although in the IA, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased significantly in girls (P = 0.001), it increased in boys (P = 0.001) as well as in the girls of the RA (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION:
By performing school-based interventions, our study was successful, at least in part, in controlling some cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents. Such modifications may have long-term impacts on non-communicable diseases prevention in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3413088  PMID: 23205053
Prevention; Adolescents; Lifestyle; Community Trial; Iran
10.  Effects of dietary supplementation with ghee, hydrogenated oil, or olive oil on lipid profile and fatty streak formation in rabbits 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):119-124.
BACKGROUND
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. A high-fat diet, rich in saturated fatty acids and low in polyunsaturated fatty acids, is said to be an important cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
METHODS
In this experimental study, 40 male rabbits were randomly assigned to eight groups of five to receive normal diet, hypercholesterolemic diet, normal diet plus ghee, normal diet plus olive oil, normal diet plus hydrogenated oil, hypercholesterolemic diet plus ghee, hypercholesterolemic diet plus olive oil, and hypercholesterolemic diet plus hydrogenated oil. They received rabbit chow for a period of 12 weeks. At the start and end of the study, fasting blood samples were taken from all animals to measure biochemical factors including total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride (TG), fasting blood sugar (FBS), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Moreover, aorta, left and right coronary arteries were dissected at the end of the study to investigate fatty streak formation (FSF). Data was analyzed in SPSS at a significance level of 0.05.
RESULTS
In rabbits under normal diet, ghee significantly increased TC, LDL, and HDL compared to the beginning (P < 0.01) and also to the other two types of fat (P < 0.05). Moreover, normal diet plus olive oil significantly enhanced FSF in left coronary arteries and aorta compared to normal diet plus ghee. In groups receiving hypercholesterolemic diets, ghee significantly increased HDL and CRP (P < 0.05) and significantly decreased FBS (P < 0.01). The hypecholesterolemic diet plus olive oil significantly increased HDL (P < 0.01). Supplementation of hypecholesterolemic diet with ghee significantly increased HDL and FBS in comparison with hydrogenated oil. Significant increase of FBS was also detected with the use of ghee compared to olive oil. Ghee also significantly reduced FSF in left and right coronary arteries compared to olive oil. FSF in left coronary arteries was significantly lower in the hypecholesterolemic diet plus ghee group compared to the hypecholesterolemic diet plus hydrogenated oil group.
CONCLUSION
According to the achieved results, future clinical trial studies and investigation of other risk factors such as inflammatory factors are required.
PMCID: PMC3557004  PMID: 23358722
Fatty Streak; Ghee; Hypercholesterolemic; Olive Oil
11.  Liver-Protective Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Allium Hirtifolium Boiss. in Rats with Alloxan-Induced Diabetes Mellitus 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(1):11-15.
BACKGROUND
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common endocrine disorders accompanied with many metabolic syndromes. Use of herbal medicines has always been an option to treat a great number of diseases such as diabetes and its complications. In this study the liver-protective effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Allium hirtifolium on liver enzymes level in rats with alloxan-induced diabetes mellitus was investigated.
METHODS
Thirty five male rats were randomly divided into five groups of seven; group 1: nondiabetic control, group 2: diabetic control, group 3: diabetic treated with shallot extract (0.1 g/kg), group 4: diabetic rats treated with shallot extract (1 g/kg), and group 5: diabetic treated with glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg). Using intraperitoneal (IP) injection of alloxan monohydrate, diabetes mellitus was induced in rats. Diabetic rats were treated with intraperitoneal injection for 4 weeks. At the end of the experimental period fasting blood samples were collected.
RESULTS
Statistical analysis of the data indicated that hydroalcoholic extract of shallot can significantly decrease serum contents of liver enzymes (ALP, AST, and ALT) in treated groups. In most cases, the effectiveness of the extract on reduction of these enzymes is more than glibenclamide.
CONCLUSION
Antioxidant compounds in the extract may recover liver damages caused by free radicals in diabetic rats.
PMCID: PMC3347804  PMID: 22577407
Diabetes; Allium hirtifolium; Shallot; Alloxan monohydrate; Liver; Rat
12.  Comparing the Effects of Lovastatin and Cornus Mas Fruit on Fibrinogen Level in Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(1):1-5.
BACKGROUND
Atherosclerosis, which is a result of gradual deposition of lipids in the lower part of blood vessel endothelium, is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity around the world. It has been proved that some inflammatory blood markers such as fibrinogen can predict the risk for cardiovascular disease conditions, not only in cardiovascular patients, but also in those who do not have any manifestations of the atherosclerotic development. In this study, the effect of cornus mas l. was evaluated on fibrinogen of hypercholesterolemic rabbits and it was also compared with lovastatin drug.
METHODS
In this study, 25 New Zealand adult male rabbits were randomly divided into five groups of five. They were treated for 60 days by 5 different diets, namely basic, high cholesterol, regular plus 1 g/kgBW cornus mas L. powder, high cholesterol plus 1 g/kgBW cornus mas L. powder, and high cholesterol plus 10 mg/kgBW lovastatin. At the beginning and at the end of this period, blood samples were collected from the rabbits and their serum fibrinogen levels were measured.
RESULTS
Cornus mas L. powder and lovastatin significantly decreased fibrinogen levels in comparison with high cholesterol group (P < 0.05). Furthermore cornus mas L. powder could reduce the fibrinogen level more than lovastatin (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION
The results indicated that consumption of cornus mas L. might be beneficial in atherosclerotic patients due to its reducing effects on fibrinogen.
PMCID: PMC3347805  PMID: 22577405
Atherosclerosis; Fibrinogen; Lovastatin; Rabbits

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