The risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis progression is significantly increased after menopause, probably due to the decrease of estrogen levels. The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for prevention of cardiovascular disease in older postmenopausal failed to meet expectations. Phytoestrogens may induce some improvements in climacteric symptoms, but their effect on the progression of atherosclerosis remains unclear. The reduction of cholesterol accumulation at the cellular level should lead to inhibition of the atherosclerotic process in the arterial wall. The inhibition of intracellular lipid deposition with isoflavonoids was suggested as the effective way for the prevention of plaque formation in the arterial wall.
The aim of a new double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study was to investigate the effect of an isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation on atherosclerosis progression in postmenopausal women free of overt cardiovascular disease, in 157 healthy postmenopausal women (age 65 ± 6), randomized to a 500 mg isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation containing tannins from grape seeds, green tea leaves, hop cone powder, and garlic powder, or placebo.
Among the results, the mean ntima-media thickness of common carotid arteries (cIMT) progression was significantly lower in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients as compared to the placebo group (6 μm, or <1%, versus 100 μm, or 13%; p < 0.001 for the difference). The growth of existing atherosclerotic plaques in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients was inhibited by 1.5-fold (27% versus 41% in the placebo group). The obtained results demonstrate that the use of isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation in postmenopausal women may suppress the formation of new atherosclerotic lesions and reduce the progression of existing ones, thus promising new drug for anti-atherosclerotic therapy. Nevertheless, further studies are required to confirm these findings.
- Myasoedova VA, Kirichenko TV, Melnichenko AA, Orekhova VA, Ravani A, Poggio P, Sobenin IA, Bobryshev YV, Orekhov AN. Anti-Atherosclerotic Effects of a Phytoestrogen-Rich Herbal Preparation in Postmenopausal Women. Int J Mol Sci 2016 Aug 11;17(8) Go to PubMed