Background: Although complex multivitamin products are widely used as dietary supplements to maintain health or as special medical food in certain diseases, the effects of these products were not investigated in hyperlipidemia which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, here we investigated if a preparation developed for human use containing different vitamins, minerals and trace elements enriched with phytosterol (VMTP) affects the severity of experimental hyperlipidemia as well as myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.
Methods: Male Wistar rats were fed a normal or cholesterol-enriched (2% cholesterol + 0.25% cholate) diet for 12 weeks to induce hyperlipidemia. From week 8, rats in both groups were fed with a VMTP preparation or placebo for 4 weeks. Serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were measured at week 0, 8 and 12. At week 12, hearts were isolated, perfused according to Langendorff and subjected to a 30-min coronary occlusion followed by 120 min reperfusion to measure infarct size.
Results: At week 8, cholesterol-fed rats showed significantly higher serum cholesterol level as compared to normal animals, however, serum triglyceride level did not change. VMTP treatment significantly decreased serum cholesterol level in the hyperlipidemic group by week 12 without affecting triglyceride levels. However, VMTP did not show beneficial effect on infarct size. The inflammatory marker hs-CRP and the antioxidant uric acid were also not significantly different.
Conclusions: This is the first demonstration that treatment of hyperlipidemic subjects with a VMTP preparation reduces serum cholesterol, the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however, it does not provide cardioprotection.