Objective: To determine whether addition of Salba (Salvia hispanica L.), a novel whole grain that is rich in fiber, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and minerals to conventional treatment is associated with improvement in major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Research design and methods: Using a single-blind cross-over design, subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 37 +/- 4 g/day of Salba or wheat bran for 12 weeks while maintaining their conventional diabetes therapies. Twenty well-controlled subjects with type 2 diabetes (11 men and 9 women, aged 64 +/- 8 years, BMI 28 +/- 4 kg/m2, and A1C 6.8 +/- 0.9%) completed the study. This study was set in the outpatient clinic of the Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
Results: Compared with the control treatment, Salba reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 6.3 +/- 4 mmHg (P < 0.001), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (mg/l) by 40 +/- 1.6% (P = 0.04), and vonWillebrand factor (vWF) by 21 +/- 0.3% (P = 0.03), with significant decreases in A1C and fibrinogen in relation to the Salba baseline but not with the control treatment. There were no changes in safety parameters including liver, kidney and hemostatic function, or body weight. Both plasma ALA and eicosapentaenoic polyunsaturated fatty acid levels were increased twofold (P < 0.05) while consuming Salba.
Conclusions: Long-term supplementation with Salba attenuated a major cardiovascular risk factor (SBP) and emerging factors (hs-CRP and vWF) safely beyond conventional therapy, while maintaining good glycemic and lipid control in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00362011.