Pulmonary hypertension which can lead to congestive heart failure may be a thing of the past according to new research. On November 3rd the American Heart Association journal Circulation, published findings by Dr. Norbert Voelkel and researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), demonstrating the ability of a patented herbal formula Protandim, to protect the heart in a laboratory model of pulmonary hypertension in rats.
Pulmonary hypertension is a health condition characterized by high blood pressure in the circulation between the heart and lungs and can result in death due to right heart failure. In this study, pulmonary hypertension was induced in the animals through a drug and by creating an oxygen-poor environment (hypoxia). Animals pre-treated with the five herbal formula in Protandim experienced strong cardioprotective effects.
The herbal formula was shown to protect the heart by increasing the expression of protective genes and by preventing the formation of scar tissue, or fibrosis, in the heart. The study showed these herbs also prevented capillary loss in the heart muscle of the animals, preserving right heart function despite the continuing stress of pressure overload. The study also indicates the death of heart cells was prevented and a significantly lowered osteopontin (OPN-1) levels by more than 50%. Osteopontin is a factor that leads to scar tissue formation, a cause of heart failure.
The researchers in this study described the ability of the herbal combination of Turmeric, Milk Thistle, Bacopa, Ashwagandha and Green Tea that make up what's in Protandim to effectively activate the transcription factor Nrf2, a signal to the cell’s DNA to increase expression of a network of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fibrotic genes.
“We are encouraged by the results of this study, which was independently funded and independently conducted by Dr. Voelkel and his colleagues at VCU,” stated David Brown, President & CEO of LifeVantage the company that has the patent rights to the formula in Protandim. "Scientists have long known of the involvement of oxidative stress in disease processes, and this study is a significant example of how oxidative stress affects susceptibility to right heart failure in animals," said Brown. "Although it would be premature to conclude that similar benefits would be seen in humans, these remarkable results open the door to the possibility of future research on pulmonary hypertention and this herbal formula in humans."