Objective: This study aimed to assess the effects of Ziziphus jujuba (ZJ) fruit on controlling dyslipidemia in obese adolescents. Methods: This triple-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial comprised 86 obese adolescents aged 12-18 years with dyslipidemia, i.e. serum low density lipoprotein- cholesterol (LDL-C) or total cholesterol (TC) or triglycerides (TG) equal or more than the age- and gender-specific 95th percentile or high density lipoprotein- cholesterol (HDL-C) less than 5th percentile. They were randomly assigned into two groups of equal number. Both groups received similar recommendations for dietary and physical activity habits. The case group received 5 grams of ZJ fruit powder three times a day for one month and controls took the same amount of a placebo powder. Fasting blood sugar, TC, LDL-C, HDL-C and TG were measured at the beginning and at the end of the trial. Data were analyzed using General linear method (multivariate) test. Findings: Overall, 70 participants (51% boys, mean age of 14±2) completed the trial. The two groups studied did not differ in terms of age, gender, weight and body mass index (BMI). After the trial, serum TC decreased significantly (195±37 mg/dl in controls vs. 170±29 mg/dl in cases, P=0.007) reduction. The corresponding figure was also significant for LDL-C (114±38 mg/dl vs. 104±22 mg/dl, respectively, P= 0.004). The changes in BMI and other lipids were not significant. Conclusion: This study suggest that ZJ`s fruits is generally well tolerated and may have potential favorable effects on serum lipid profile. While healthy lifestyle is the mainstay of controlling childhood obesity, this nutraceutical may be considered as a complementary treatment.
Key words: Zizyphus, dyslipidemia, adolescence, obesity.