Dyslipidemia – a not yet fully understood disease characterized by an abnormal amount of lipids in the blood – is a growing risk factor for cardiovascular disorders worldwide. A group of researchers from Iran has set out to evaluate the effects of a traditional formulation containing lemon balm on the condition.
By Majid Emtiazy
Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are among the fastest growing health challenges in the world. Furthermore, patients with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of coronary artery disease due to the presence of a risk factor called diabetic dyslipidemia – a combination of elevated triglycerides and decreased good cholesterol serum levels. Insulin resistance and oxidative stress have been found to be major contributing factors in diabetic dyslipidemia.
A recent clinical trial published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine now tested the effect of a compound product on these factors. Based on traditional Persian medicine, the formulation contained lemon balm and rose. Melissa officinalis L., commonly known as lemon balm, has been traditionally used as a sedative, cardiac and gut tonic for centuries.
Patients with diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia were randomly assigned to either a placebo or the product group. Participants in both categories received identical capsules daily for three months. Neither the researchers nor the participants themselves knew who was receiving capsules containing the lemon balm-rose combination and who was receiving the placebo. This so-called “double blind” design is used to reduce the potential for bias in clinical trials. In combination with rose, lemon balm was in fact shown to lower serum triglycerides, blood pressure and other insulin resistance markers in study participants – without adverse effects.
The study is the first human trial to show the anti-hyperlipidemic effects of lemon balm in patients with diabetes. As Professor Johannes Bischko, a pioneer of acupuncture in Western Medicine, once said: “So many new things may be learned from the past”. The researchers agree with this and believe that larger studies are now required to develop novel therapies based on traditional medicines.
Read the original article here:
Neda Nayebi, Alireza Esteghamati, Alipasha Meysamie, Nahid Khalili, Mohammad Kamalinejad, Majid Emtiazy, Mohammad Hashem Hashempur: The effects of a Melissa officinalis L. based product on metabolic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized double-blinded controlled clinical trial, 25.01.2019.