The intake of nutritionally well-balanced health foods is the first clinical intervention to counteract metabolic syndrome. The routine intake of certain vegetables has been observed to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. A number of vegetables with potential bioactive components, such as polyphenols, sterols, oligosaccharides, and vitamins, have been investigated with regard to antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic, and antihyperglycemic effects.
Now a new study has confirmed that asparagus significantly improves metabolic syndrome. The edible shoot of asparagus is about one-half to two-thirds of the full length of the stems. When asparagus stems are cropped, leaf-like ferns called cladophylls and the remaining woody part (the bottom-stem) are removed and discarded as by-products because they are tough and difficult to eat.
Twenty-eight health volunteers participated in a clinical trial and ingested asparagus through their cladophylls or ground up bottom-stem powder (6 g/day) daily for a ten week period. The cladophyll intake resulted in significant reduction in the subjects’ diastolic blood pressure and fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and decreased both the left cardio-ankle vascular index score and the total cholesterol level (T-CHO).
The bottom-stem intake as well significantly reduced the research participants systolic and diastolic blood pressure and FPG as well as T-CHO.These results suggest the possibility that asparagus cladophylls and bottom-stems significantly improve hypertension, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia; lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome and corresponding cardiovascular disease.
Mie Nishimura, Tatsuya Ohkawara, Hiroyo Kagami-Katsuyama, Hiroji Sato, and Jun Nishihira. Improvement of Blood Pressure, Glucose Metabolism, and Lipid Profile by the Intake of Powdered Asparagus (蘆筍 Lú Sŭn) Bottom-stems and Cladophylls. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 250–255.