Objective: Childhood obesity is a major public health concern worldwide while the current epidemic may be secondary to over consumption of high-fat, energy-rich foods. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) has been traditionally used in medicine for several antioxidant and anti-atherogenic activities. In this study the anti-dyslipidemic effects of P.oleracea was evaluated in obese adolescents. Methods: In this triple-blinded randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial which was done from July 2011 to June 2012, obese adolescent patients whom were referred to the Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute (Iran) were randomly allocated to the two arms of cases and controls. The cases group was asked to take one capsule containing powdered P. oleracea seeds (500 milligrams) two times a day for one month, and the controls group were asked to take identical but placebo (lactose) capsules in the same way. Biochemical parameters including 12-hours fasting serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) were measured before the initiation and after the completion of the study protocol. Findings: Total cholesterol, LDL-C, and TG showed statistically significant changes over time (one month) in the P. oleracea group (p < 0.05). However, between-group analysis using general linear model (multivariate) test revealed that the differences in the mentioned parameters between two study groups were statistically significant just for LDL-C and TG, while others did not differ significantly. Conclusion: P. oleracea L. may have positive effects on serum lipids profile which may be attributed to its polyphenolic and antioxidant compounds. This herbal drug seems to be well-tolerated in adolescent population as well. Further studies are recommended.
Key words: Portulaca oleracea, dyslipidemia, adolescent, obesity, clinical trial