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New study reveals millet based diet can greatly reduce risk of cardiovascular disease

A Raju, Hyderabad
Friday, August 20, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A new study by scientists at International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad has revealed that regular use of millets in diet can greatly reduce the risk of developing heart diseases in people.

According to Anitha, a senior nutritionist at ICRISAT, the study was taken up by five organizations headed by ICRISAT to find out the impact of millet based diet on patients suffering with heart ailments.

“In fact, there have been more than 19 similar studies conducted by various organizations on the impact of millet based diet on healthcare. What we have done is we have gathered the data of all those previous studies and conducted meta-analysis on data of 900 people. The results of our analysis showed that persons who eat millet based diet showed drastic improvement in the conditions of people suffering with cardiovascular disease. The study results found that millets has the capability of reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides and improves body mass index (BMI) greatly,” revealed the ICRISAT Nutrition Scientists.

This new study which is already published in ‘Frontiers in Nutrition’ has revealed that eating regular millets in diet can reduce cholesterol by 8 per cent and in some cases even lowering it from high to normal levels in some people.

Adding further about the nutritional value and health benefits of millets, Dr. Hemalatha, director of national Institute of Nutrition revealed that millets has the ability to decrease low and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triacylgylcerol levels up to 10 per cent in the blood.

The ICRISAT study had also found that apart from reducing bad cholesterol millets also has the ability to reduce blood pressure with the diastolic blood pressure by up to 5 per cent.

As unhealthy diet is said to be the major cause of various cardiovascular diseases and even has the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, earlier ICRISAT scientists conducted study to find out if millets can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and found of revealing facts that adding millets can reduce the risk of diabetes. Further to this, the ICRISAT scientists have also found that millets can also drastically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure in people. “As we have revealing data and our study results clearly indicate how use of millets can give a positive boost to patients suffering with cardiovascular diseases, it is high time our policy makers and healthcare experts think on how to bring back millets in to our daily diet and protect the lives of people suffering with heart diseases,” observed Dr Hemalatha.


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