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Pasta could literally save your life
Posted on 19/10/2017


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Spagthetti could become the ultimate health food. How? Scientists at a university in Pisa have made findings that adding barley flour to your average pasta could help to reduce deaths from heart attacks.

Pasta - a future superfood?

Pasta - a future superfood?
© Jiri Hera/123RF

What's the science behind it? The ingredient contains beta-glucan which is known to help the body to form new blood vessels. The medical researchers say that this would allow a "natural bypass" to be created in the event of a heart attack.

Prof Vincenzo Lionetti, co-ordinator of the study, explains why the development is important. He points out that until now, techniques to promote artery growth needed surgical treatments, stem cells or gene therapy, but that their research had directly tested the possibility of a more palattable option - pasta that fixes your heart.

The researchers at Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies conducted the study was made on mice. It showed that more of the mice that had been fed barley-enriched flour survived cardiac injury than the mice that had eaten normal wheat pasta. Even the wheat-fed mice that survived had more damage to their hearts than the barley ones.

Barley's known health benefits include protecting blood vessels and creating a significant improvement in insulin resistance.