A research study has found traditional Tibetan medicines more effective than the western approach in combating obesity and overweight- the key risk factors for patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
The study titled 'Weight reduction in patients with coronary artery disease: comparison of traditional Tibetan medicine and western diet', conducted by a team led by Dr Stephan Von Haehling, a senior clinician and researcher at the department of Charité Medical School, Berlin, was recently published in the International Journal of Cardiology.
The other team members include Dr Konstantinos Stellos, Dr Meinrad Gawaz, Dr Boris Bigalke and Dr Namgyal Qusar- who practice traditional Tibetan medicine at Tibetan Healing Centre in Dharamsala.
Using parallel group dietary and behavioral intervention study, the researchers evaluated 524 patients with body mass index in Germany between December 2008 and November 2010.
A total of 262 patients were assigned to western diet, another 262 to Tibetan diet. The study results showed significant reduction of body weight and BMI in both groups of patients after 6 and 12 months, but these changes were more pronounced in patients following the Tibetan diet.
The study also showed that after 6 months, the levels of total LDL cholesterol, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein (CRP) -- markers for the risk of heart attacks -- were significantly lower among patients following the principles of Tibetan diet as compared to western medicine. This, the researchers believe, is a result of the lipid-modifying and anti-inflammatory effects induced by the Tibetan medicine diet.
“This is the first study that compares the impact of dietary and behavioral advice recommended in western medicine diet (usual care) and traditional Tibetan medicine diet in a large group of patients with CAD and manifests metabolic syndrome,” said Dr Namgyal Qusar.
Researchers believe that nutritional and behavioral therapy recommended in the Tibetan protocol reduced body weight better than that of the Western diet and may also induce lipid-modifying and anti-inflammatory effects.They hope that latest research would prompt larger studies to substantiate their findings.
According to the World Health Organisation, the number of people who die from cardiovascular diseases, mainly from heart disease and stroke, would increase to 23.3 million by 2030.
It adds that cardiovascular diseases could be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids.