Italian researchers have created a pasta that could help us survive heart attacks

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Italian researchers have created a pasta that could help us survive heart attacks
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Eat spaghetti, cheat death: it might sound too good to be true, but Italian researchers say they’ve cracked a recipe that could help reduce deaths from heart attacks.


In a newly published study, medical researchers at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna’s Institute of Life Sciences in Pisa developed a special kind of pasta enriched with barley flour.

The barley contains a substance called beta-glucan that is known to help the body form new blood vessels – which could serve as a “natural bypass” in the event of a heart attack, the researchers said.

To test their theory, the team fed barley-enriched pasta to mice and then induced cardiac injury. They found that more of those mice survived than mice that had received regular wheat pasta.

In addition, the mice that survived in the control group had more damage to their hearts than the barley-fed mice that made it.

“It’s the first time that the formation of natural bypasses was encouraged via functional food, such as pasta with barley beta-glucan,” lead researcher Vincenzo Lionetti told Ansa news agency.

The team hopes that enriched pasta will eventually prove “a friend to the heart” in humans. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also