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Pintus P.,Centro per le Malattie Dismetaboliche e lArteriosclerosi
Giornale italiano di nefrologia : organo ufficiale della Società italiana di nefrologia | Year: 2012

A steady increase in mean serum cholesterol levels has been observed in the Sardinian population over the past three decades, probably related to modifications in the diet such as the introduction of fast food; however, the mean serum values are still lowest compared with the other Italian regions. These data clearly contrast with the presence in our area of five LDL-apheresis centers where, in 20 years of activity, over 16,000 treatments were performed in 60 patients, accounting for 30% of LDL-apheresis-treated patients in Italy. The contrast is even more surprising when one considers that Sardinia has a population of only 1.6 million, i.e., 2.8% of the Italian population. A recessive form of familial hypercholesterolemia, called ARH, was recently discovered and studied in the Sardinian population. It has a prevalence of about 1:38,000- 40,000 for homozygous and double heterozygous subjects, who show clinical features similar to those of classical homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, a disease characterized by autosomal dominant transmission.

Pintus S.,Centro per le Malattie Dismetaboliche e lArteriosclerosi | Murru E.,University of Cagliari | Carta G.,University of Cagliari | Cordeddu L.,University of Cagliari | And 10 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

Intake of dairy fat has long been considered as a risk factor for CVD. Pasture and dietary lipid supplementation have been reported to be reliable strategies in ruminant nutrition, in order to increase the content of α-linolenic acid (ALA), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vaccenic acid (VA), and decrease SFA in milk fat. In the present study, we aimed at verifying whether consumption of a sheep cheese, naturally enriched in ALA, CLA and VA, would modify the plasma lipid and endocannabinoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects. A total of forty-two adult volunteers (nineteen males and twenty-three females) with diagnosed mildly hypercholesterolaemia (total cholesterol 5·68-7·49 mmol/l) were randomly assigned to eat 90 g/d of a control or enriched cheese for 3 weeks, with a cross-over after 3 weeks of washout. Plasma lipids, endocannabinoids, adipokines and inflammatory markers were measured. The intake of enriched cheese significantly increased the plasma concentrations of CLA, VA, the n-3 fatty acids ALA and EPA, and more remarkably decreased that of the endocannabinoid anandamide. LDL-cholesterol decreased significantly (7 %). No changes were detected in the levels of inflammatory markers; however, a significant correlation was found between the plasma levels of anandamide and leptin. The control cheese modified none of the parameters measured. The results obtained do not support the view that intake of dairy fat is detrimental to hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Indeed, they show that a naturally enriched cheese possesses beneficial properties, since it ameliorates the plasma lipid profile, and more remarkably reduces endocannabinoid biosynthesis. © 2012 The Authors.

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