Background: Inulin has been suggested to have beneficial effects on lipids, especially on triglyceridemia. Few data are available about the effects of inulin on Lipoprotein(a), a low-density lipoprotein-like particle considered as an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Adding inulin to pasta could be a preventive strategy for delaying the onset of atherosclerosis.
Aim of the study: was to evaluate the effects of inulin-enriched pasta on lipid profile and on Lipoprotein(a) in young healthy subjects.
Methods: Twenty-two young healthy male volunteers entered a randomized double blind cross-over study consisting of a 2-weeks run-in period, a baseline assessment, two 5-weeks study periods (11% inulin-enriched or control pasta), and an 8-weeks wash-out period in between. Serum lipid concentrations were evaluated by routine biochemical analyses and plasma Lipoprotein(a) concentrations by ELISA. The size of apolipoprotein(a) isoforms was determined by Western blot and immunodetection.
Results: Significant differences at baseline and in the treatment groups were found for HDL-cholesterol (P = 0.004), total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0.006), triglycerides (P = 0.04), and Lipoprotein(a) (P = 0.02) concentrations (data analyzed by Friedman test). Dunn's multiple comparison test was used to assess the significance of differences between inulin-enriched pasta diet vs. baseline. HDL-cholesterol concentrations increased by 35.9%; total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio, triglycerides, and Lipoprotein(a) concentrations decreased by 22.2, 23.4, and 16.5% respectively.
Conclusions: Inulin-enriched pasta administration induced significant effects on lipid pattern parameters in young healthy volunteers, including a significant reduction in Lipoprotein(a) concentrations.