Root crops lower bad cholesterol in blood — FNRI study

March 28, 2012 12:59 am 

By Lady Marie de la Torre

MANILA, March 27 — Local root crops such as gabi, kamote, tugi, ube and kamoteng kahoy, are no longer food of the poor since they reach the plates of the well-heeled who want to lower their cholesterol levels.

Trinidad P. Trinidad, Scientist II of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute- Dept. of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), said such local root crops were the best in lowering bad cholesterol levels among adults.

Trinidad, in her FNRI study, entitled "Acute Study of Five Root Crops" (Kamote, Gabi, Tugi, Ube , Cassava), tested 20 people (two males, 18 females), ages 30 to 55 years old, on the effects of eating root crops in their cholesterol level in their blood.

The respondents were in the borderline high cholesterol bracket or having 200-250 milligram of cholesterol, not into medication, non-smokers, and physically and mentally fit, she said.

Trinidad was invited to present her study to the journalists Tuesday at the Makati Shangrila Hotel in Makati City during the advocacy campaign of FNRI and Del Monte Philippines against hypercholesterolemia, a condition characterized by very high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

The study showed that eating kamote and cassava, or kamoteng kahoy, significantly decreased the unnecessary cholesterol level of adults.

These root crops were found to be fiber-rich food and had health benefits like preventing unnecessary cholesterol level and fighting colon cancer, Trinidad said.

Eating of these root crops resulted in the lowering of bad cholesterol and in increasing High-density Lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, or good cholesterol, Trinidad said.

"The study results may have a significant role in the proper control and management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases," Trinidad said.

Accordingly, findings of the World Health Organization and the Department of Health state that coincidentally , one out of three Filipino deaths is caused by cardiovascular diseases or CVDs.

They said the dominant cause was the high concentration of bad cholesterol in the blood. (PNA) RMA/hbc/SDT/utb

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