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We don't think of sesame seed paste as a 'life saver,' but new research shows it is capable of reducing blood markers of cardiovascular disease risk by 39% within only six weeks.
Sadly, in the Western world, when the average Joe thinks of protecting himself from heart disease, aspirin and statin drugs are often as high on the list – if not higher – than exercise and eating better. Through decades of intense marketing and miseducation millions have been made to think of the #1 killer as an inevitable force; one against which we fling pills and various pharmaceutical potions to 'minimize risk,' never to strike to the core of the problem and resolve it permanently.
This is one reason why natural medicine continues to gain popularity, as it is founded in more than a palliative approach to disease, and does not require the ingestion of patented chemicals (i.e. pharmaceuticals) whose side effects are often worse and far more plentiful than their claimed therapeutic ones. Instead of simply managing and/or suppressing symptoms, the goal is to invoke bodily self-healing, which is to say remove the interference that keeps it from doing so. And often, this is simply a matter of modifying the diet – adding something medicinal here, removing something not so healthy there.
One of the most promising studies to come through the biomedical pipeline of late was a gem published this month in the journal Archives of Iranian Medicine, and which looked at a traditional, sesame-based food-medicine known as Ardeh (aka tahini) for its ability to decrease cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetics – a group whose risk of cardiac mortality is greatly enhanced due to unhealthy ratios and quantities of blood lipids associated with chronically elevated blood sugar, glycation and insulin resistance.
Titled, "Ardeh (Sesamum indicum) Could Improve Serum Triglycerides and Atherogenic Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial",[i] the study consisted of 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, who were randomly assigned to one of the two groups: group A (Ardeh 28 g/d, n = 21) and group B (control, n = 20). The patients in group A were given 28 grams (two tablespoons) of Ardeh with their breakfast, while group B patients continued with their regular breakfast, both for six months (the energy content of both groups was kept within the same range).
Both groups were evaluated at baseline and six weeks later for blood pressure, serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), LDL-C, HDL-C, and the so-called atherogenic index (i.e. heart disease promoting index) of plasma (AIP; log TG/HDL-C), TC/HDL-C ratio, and LDL/HDL-C ratio .
Remarkably, after the six week test period, significant positive changes were reported:
"After six weeks, there were significant decreases in serum TG (15.3 mg/dL) and AIP (39 %) in group A. Moreover, slight decreases in serum TC, LDL-C, and other atherogenic lipid parameters and a mild increase in HDL-C also were observed during Ardeh supplementation. Anthropometric measures and blood pressure were unchanged during the study period in both groups." [emphasis added]
Based on these promising observations the researchers concluded: "Ardeh could have favorable effects in decreasing CVD risk factors in type 2 diabetics." Keep in mind that they found a 39% decrease in the so-called atherogenic index of plasma (AIP), which is no small effect for a relatively small dietary change. It should be noted that the brand of tahini used in this study (Oghab Halva Company) had no additional additives or oil. It was ground sesame seed, plain and simple. Were this a drug trial, results like these would be broadcast the world over as the next life-saving (multi-billion dollar selling) blockbuster drug. For a more detailed explanation of the results, read the entire study at the link here.