Wednesday, November 22, 2006

UM study shows roast duck may lower cholesterol

Piece of interesting news clip from Malaysia...News from my previous University...

UM study shows roast duck may lower cholesterol

PETALING JAYA: Research has shown that eating roast duck may actually promote lower cholesterol levels.

However, initial studies by Universiti Malaya (UM) have found that it is not the duck itself that possesses the attributes, but rather the reddish powder called propriety red yeast rice (PRYR) that is used in the seasoning of the duck.

The food condiment has been reported to be effective in reducing hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol), diabetes and other heart ailments.

PRYR, also known as Xuezhikang, is also used in tonic preparations and enhancing food textures in Asian dishes.

However, despite its medical potentials, PRYR has not received global recognition for its efficacies.

Bearing this in mind, UM and Wearnes Biotech and Medicals have collaborated in conducting a clinical study on PRYR's potential in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol in the diabetic population.

"There are more than 100,000 hospitalisations for heart related ailments each year, while at least 18% of Malaysians are diabetic.

"Diabetic patients are at greater risk of mortality from heart diseases," said UM Faculty of Medicine deputy dean (research) Prof Dr Rosmawati Mohamed.

She said that preliminary studies by other researchers have shown favourable results of PRYR in lowering the blood sugar level and also cholesterol.

"We aim to evaluate its beneficial effects on a total of 120 diabetic patients who will be divided into two groups.

"The course of the study will take about a year," she said, during a conference at a hotel here, which saw the announcement of the collaboration.

Another speaker at the conference, consultant cardiologist Dr David Quek, said it is worrying that many heart patients are not comfortable with modern medicine, as they fear having side effects as a result.

He said PRYR was an ideal alternative as it is a natural extract, but was quick to point out that it depended on the circumstances.

"It is ideal for those with moderate hyperlipidemia, patients who don't wish to use synthetic medicine and others who show side effects of statin (high cholesterol drugs) usage," he said.

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