The authors attempt to evaluate a method of evaluating scientific information about foods and supplements for reduction of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The risk factors for cardiovascular disease are high blood levels of total cholesterol, high triacylglycerol (a word proposed to replace triglyceride), high LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol.
The method of this study is the principal component analysis (PCA), used to evaluate the intake of n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids, soluble fibers and phytosterols on blood levels of cholesterol, triacylglycerol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. The results of a number of previously done studies were compiled and the results were evaluated by a complex formula.
The results were that total cholesterol was reduced by phytosterols and soluble fibers, including guar gum, psyllium, pectin, and oat fiber.
N-3 fatty acids lowered triacylglycerol and increased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. The results show that fish oil omega-3 improves the lining of blood vessels, improves arterial elasticity and modulates inflammatory portions of the immune system.
CONCLUSION: The principal component analysis seems to be a good method to summarize scientific information about foods and nutritional supplements. The results of the present study are as reported above and are in general agreement with many previous studies. Further studies will be done on mixtures of the above nutrients to determine the benefits of various combinations of functional foods in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.
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