VeggieBoards banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mom's family has a genetic problem of not being able to properly break down cholesterol in their blood. Three of her five sisters have this problem (so far that we know). One has had seven strokes, the other two have had multiple angio-plasties and open heart surgery. None are vegetarian.

My question, would a vegetarian diet help to keep a genetic issue under control? It's becoming rather serious and frightening. My oldest aunt is 64 and it doesn't look like she'll be around for more than another few years if something doesn't change. keep in mind that none of these women are more than ten to twenty lbs overweight. The aunt in question is NOT overweight at all.

Any links or information would be helpful, as I plan to start giving them any information that might help.

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
All I can tell you is this:

My family has a tendency to have high cholesterol and very bad HDL/LDL levels. I have always been around 200-220 in my cholesterol.

2 weeks after going Vegan (not just vegetarian, but eliminating all animal products and by-products), my cholesterol was 197. 2 months after going Vegan, my cholestrol was at 157 and my HDL, for the first time, was normal. My LDL was still a little high, but I had injured my achilles and was unable to work out.

Let's put it this way, going Vegan certainly can't hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Bethanie,

I think that a vegan diet might indeed help - it can't hurt. What I would definately emphasize is a high-fiber, low-fat, low amount of dietary cholesterol (or none, with veganism). If the fiber can help to bind/sweep out extra fats in the intestines, it can't be absorbed into the blood where it would cause lots of problems.

Another thing to consider, especially in severe cases of high cholesterol that are already developed, are the new non-systemic cholesterol-lowering drugs (like Wellchol). As opposed to the statin-types (Mevacor/Lovastatin/et. al.), they stay in your GI tract and bind up the cholesterol in your intestines, with neither the cholesterol nor the medicine entering your blood (better side effect profile as a result).

PM me if you want more suggestions - both of my parents are in the same boat as your family. My dad is 56 and probably healthier than I am, and most people in his family are in the hospital or the grave by 55-65 due to cardiac/cholesterol problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
From the June edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:

The lower rates of heart disease among vegetarians are explained in part by

their lower blood cholesterol levels. A review of 9 studies found that, in

comparison to nonvegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans had mean blood

cholesterol levels that were 14% and 35% lower, respectively (156). Although the

lower average BMI of vegetarians may help to explain this, Sacks and colleagues

found that, even when vegetarian subjects were heavier than nonvegetarian

subjects, the vegetarians had markedly lower plasma lipoprotein values (157),

and Thorogood and colleagues found that differences in plasma lipids in

vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters persisted, even following adjustment for

BMI (158). Some, but not all, studies have shown lower high-density lipoprotein

(HDL) levels in vegetarian subjects (29). Lower HDL levels may be due to the

type or amount of dietary fat or to lower alcohol intake. This may help to

explain the smaller differences in heart disease rates between vegetarian and

nonvegetarian women because HDL may be a more important risk factor than LDL

levels for women (159). Average triglyceride levels tend to be similar in

vegetarians and nonvegetarians.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
My father and I have a similar problem. 188 is a low level for me.

The liver produces all the cholesterol that your body needs. For people like me it is dangerous to ingest cholesterol, I cannot eliminate it quickly enough to prevent it from building up in my body. Even if I do not actually eat cholesterol I still need to watch the amount of fat in my diet (triglycerides). My liver easily converts dietary fat into cholesterol and triglycerides like to sludge their way around my blood.

I sometimes go on pastry jags or candy binges. Though I am careful about the type of pastry and candy I do eat the sugars can up my triglycerides. I had to quit caffeine; it was also affecting my numbers.

There is still life after all these changes. Now, if I can stop the pie after one slice instead of after one pie I would be doing better.

I wish you powerful wisdom and the force of love as you speak to your aunties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
There are different types of hyperlipoproteinemias, which have different therapeutic approaches. To differentiate, you have to make a lipidelectrophoreses. A dietary appraoch should be the first thought to treat any of these conditions. Obeses people should try to loose weight. Any hyperlipoproteinemia will benefit from a diet that is low in cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, low in overall fat contents, and high in polyunsaturated fats. Both cholesterol and saturated fatty acids you find in abundance in animal derived foods (meat, fish, dairy products). Polyunsatured fatty acids (PUFAs) you find in nuts and seeds. Therefore a vegan diet would have a sound sientific basis as first choice of any theraputic measure. Afterwards you should look for other aggravating factors, like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and alcoholism. Also cessation of smoking and treatment of hypertension are to be considered. Physical training will boost HDL (high density lipoproteins), which are the vehicle to get cholesterol and other fats from the walls of arteries back to the liver and therefore protect against arteriosclerosis. Only after these measures aren´t working, one should consider drugs. Most people won´t chance their lifestyle and so most GPs quite quickly prescribe unnecessary drug. The type of drugs that is used most frequently are called statins. They can have severe side effects, and already drugs have been taken off the market like Lipobay®.

There are only a few exceptions with rare familiar hyperlipoproteinemias.

Before I changed to a vegetarian lifestyle, my own cholesterol was about 250 mg/dl. Afterwards it has never been above 180 mg/dl, last time 146 mg/dl (fall last year). My mother´s cholesterol has been in between 250-300 mg/dl, which dropped to 190-220 mg/dl after she increased PUFAs in her diet and used a margarine of non-hydrogenated PUFAs enriched with ß-Sitosterin.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top