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When it comes to total cholesterol, the reduction was nearly by 8 per cent, and in some cases even lowering it from high to normal levels in the people studied.
HYDERABAD: A new study by ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics) has shown millets to be an ideal, miracle food to cut the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study, which was conducted by a group of five organisations and lead by ICRISAT, analysed data of 19 studies done with 900 people. It found good results which indicate improvement in the condition of the candidates after they ate millets. According to this study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, millets were found to be capable of reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides and BMI in the patients.
When it comes to total cholesterol, the reduction was nearly by 8 per cent, and in some cases even lowering it from high to normal levels in the people studied. There was nearly a 10 per cent decrease in low and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (commonly viewed as ‘bad cholesterol) and triacylglycerol levels in the blood. In addition, consuming millets decreased blood pressure with the diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in the BP reading) decreasing by 5 per cent.
“We were surprised how many studies on humans had already been undertaken on the impact of millets on elements that impact cardiovascular diseases. We used a meta-analysis, and results came out very strongly to show a significant positive impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr S Anitha, Senior Nutritionist at ICRISAT.
Dr Hemalatha, Director, National Institute of Nutrition stresses, “Unhealthy diet is a major contributor to the rising incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The results of this study along with our recent study showed that the consumption of millets reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and helped manage it. This highlights a critical need to look carefully at how to most appropriately bring millets back into the diets in India.”
BMI fell by 7%
The study also showed that consuming millets reduced BMI by 7 per cent in people who were overweight and obese. The study notes that all these results are based on consumption of 50 to 200 gm of millets per day for a duration ranging from 21 days to four months.