RESEARCH

WHAT IS THE ESSENS STUDY SERIES?

BACKGROUND

Cardio-metabolic disease is endemic the world over and in the last decade the burden of this pandemic has shifted to emerging economies of the world like China, India, South East Asian, African and Latin American Countries. These nations have seen a disproportionate rise in prevalence of cardio-metabolic diseases particularly affecting younger people. Upward mobility, increasing urbanization and genetic pre-disposition compound the problem.

At the same time, there is increasing evidence showing benefits of lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) starting earlier in life. Despite the increased prevalence of disease and evidence of benefit of lowering risk factors earlier, ironically, the utilization of prescription drugs in these populations are unacceptably low as compared to the West.

HYPOTHESIS

Culturally these populations prefer non-prescription therapies and nutritional supplements enjoy wide popularity.
Could a food-derived therapy be ideal for this purpose for reducing risk factors?
Would adoption and adherence to food-derived therapies be more than prescription drugs?
What is the evidence?

ESSENS, via a series of systematic, randomized, clinical trials is testing the hypothesis that supplementation with standardized bioactive plant-extracts and essential minerals have measurable efficacy and safety. The second part of the ESSENS series is to test, via a series of large observational studies, the hypothesis that the same food-derived products may have better adherence and outcomes.

The nutritional supplement industry has been growing exponentially. While there have been many small-scale studies on supplements, there has, heretofore, never been any meaningful, large, multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled scientific study on therapeutic and clinical benefits of nutritional supplements.