Nurvast is a food supplement formulated in acid-resistant capsules based on apple extract annurca.
The annurca apple is rich in polyphenols (such as procyanidins), natural antioxidants that have multiple health activities; in particular, they limit the absorption of food cholesterol and favor the natural regulation of the metabolism of coelterol itself.
Dyslipidaemias are clinical conditions in which the subject has an imbalance in the levels of circulating lipoproteins (in particular the relationship HDL/LDL is altered). This imbalance causes endothelial dysfunction which is the basis of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein), or high-density lipoproteins, promote the transport of cholesterol from the artery wall to the liver, promoting excretion (like scavengers) and also have anti-apoptotic, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and vasodilatory properties; in fact, HDL-cholesterol is also called "good cholesterol", to distinguish it from LDL-cholesterol, the so-called "bad cholesterol", represented by low-density lipoproteins. The LDLs in fact transport cholesterol into the bloodstream, that is, the purpose is to sell the cholesterol to the tissues. Low levels of HDL-cholesterol and high LDL-cholesterol levels would appear to underlie various coronary diseases.
Various studies have shown that polyphenolic compounds such as quercetin, epicatechin, procyanidin, anthocyanins play a key role in the beneficial properties of apples.
In particular, procyanidin B2, which is rich in the "annurca" apple variety, would seem to be able to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and raise those of good cholesterol.
The product has been formulated by the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Naples "Federico II"; the apples were extracted with pure ethanol; after the elimination of the sugars, the extracted solution was centrifuged and then dried (by the spray-drying method) in combination with the maltodextrins; in this way a fine powder was obtained which was subsequently encapsulated.
Annurca apple extract has been formulated in gastroresistant capsules in order to avoid digestion at the level of saliva and at the gastric level of some fundamental polyphenolic components.
The development of the Nurvast starts from the study published in the British Medical Journal, which showed that the daily intake of apple reduces cardiovascular mortality in a way comparable to the pharmacological approach; the study also questioned the health benefits of long-term use of statins for similar purposes.
This study has therefore laid the foundations for the study and creation of nutraceuticals based on extracts deriving from healthy-looking apples.
Using the procyanidinic fraction, extracted from the Melannurche, Nurvast was formulated in capsules, each containing 400 mg of polyphenolic Melannurca extract, equal to that present in three apples. In order to demonstrate efficacy, a single-center, randomized, cross-over, placebo-controlled study consisting of 4 weeks of placebo and 8 of 250 patients with moderate or marked hypercholesterolemia was performed. The use of nutraceutical for three months allowed a reduction in the average values of triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol of 24.9% and 37.5% respectively, and also led to an increase in plasma levels of HDL-cholesterol of 49.2%.
In vitro studies on cell lines of human hepatocellular carcinoma, conducted by the Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico Il", have also shown that procyanidinic extracts of Melannurca Campana PGI are able to promote a reduction in cholesterol absorption total, with a simultaneous reduction of LDL levels and an increase in HDL levels (the so-called "good cholesterol"), in a way superior to other apple varieties.
The mechanism by which this beneficial effect is achieved involves procyanidin B2 which, once absorbed in the liver, inhibits the biosynthesis of endogenous cholesterol, acting on the key-enzyme squalene monooxygenase. This reduces the levels of endogenous cholesterol and this, in turn, leads to a higher expression of LDL receptors resulting in the subtraction of such lipoproteins from the circulatory stream. Finally, procyanidin B2 induces a higher expression of ApoA I, the precursor protein of HDL formation.