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Gee, who would have thought?


Vegetarian Diet Good at Lowering Cholesterol

AFP

July 22, 2003 A vegetarian diet high in fibre and soy is as effective at lowering "bad" cholesterol as a low dose of a cholesterol-lowering drug, according to a study released Tuesday.

In a small study involving 46 people with high cholesterol, volunteers who followed the vegetarian diet lowered their "bad" cholesterol level by 29 percent in just four weeks.

The improvement was comparable to that seen in the group which combined a diet low in saturated fats with a daily 20 mg dose of the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin.

That group reported a 30.9 percent decrease in LDL after four weeks on the standard treatment regime.

"This study shows that people now have a dietary alternative to drugs to control their cholesterol at least initially," said lead author David Jenkins, a professor in the University of Toronto's department of nutritional sciences.

A professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky in Lexington writing in an accompanying editorial, went one step further, suggesting that the diet should be the first line of intervention for people at risk for heart disease.

"For most patients, dietary intervention should be the first line of therapy (perhaps for six to 12 weeks) before introducing pharmacotherapy for hyperlipidemia," said James Anderson.

LDL levels tend to increase with age, increasing an individual's risk for heart disease: bad cholesterol is known to clog the coronary arteries, choking off some of the oxygen supply to the body's main muscle.

Statins, which work by blocking the synthesis of LDL, are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs.

Soluble fibres, such as oats and barley, soy milk and soy proteins (tofu for example), plant sterols in leafy greens and nuts, use a variety of complementary mechanisms to block the absorption and increase the excretion of cholesterol.

The fact that humans are evolutionarily adapted to the so-called "ape diet," nuts, plant sterols, vegetable proteins etc. may explain why the benefits seen are so substantial, Jenkins said.

In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association have recognised the health benefits of nuts and soy proteins, with the AHA recommending that people at risk for heart disease should include both foods in their diet alongside foods low in saturated fats.

The study enrolled 46 men and women average age 59 and appears in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
 

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This is news? Was it at least on the "Duh" page? Haven't people like Dr. Ornish and the ADA been saying this for years? I can't believe this is deemed newsworthy enough to be published in the JAMA. Maybe if it was 1973 instead of 2003.
 

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I saw this on NBC 6:00 news yesterday. I thought this was pretty obvious, but showing this on the nightly news at least makes others more aware of the positive health effects of vegetarianism.
 

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Yeah. I sent it to my mom, who takes cholesterol-lowering drugs. She hates it when I send "propaganda," so I don't. But this is something I don't think she can call propaganda.
Now, if only she'll do something about it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by epski

Yeah. I sent it to my mom, who takes cholesterol-lowering drugs. She hates it when I send "propaganda," so I don't. But this is something I don't think she can call propaganda.
Now, if only she'll do something about it.
I know how you feel.....I showed the article to my father (who also takes cholesterol-lowering drugs) and he wouldn't even read it....all he said was "maybe, someday". Please, he'll never even try. The only good thing I can say about his diet is that he stopped eating veal.
 

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My wife looked up the study (through PubMed, I think), and she found the study to be much more professional and trustworthy than the Atkins study published in the New England Journal of Medicine a little while back. She's getting her PhD in molecular epidemiology, FYI, in case you wonder what her qualifications are.

She tried to show her "boss" at the lab, whose doctor put him on Atkins, but he wouldn't look at it, either. And he's scientist, fer crissakes! This is the self-delusion I was talking about in another thread. So many people pretend they're in denial, when really they're self-deluded, and deluding everyone around them. It's gonna take a quadruple-bypass to convince some people, I guess. *sigh*
 

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(no not for me)

"According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, a

low-fat vegetarian diet including soy, eggplant and almonds can

lower cholesterol levels about as much as statin drugs. The

small, one month study involved 46 men and women with high

cholesterol levels.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...lesterol_x.htm

"

Vegetarian diet may work as well as cholesterol drugs

CHICAGO (AP) A low-fat vegetarian diet including soy, eggplant and almonds can reduce cholesterol levels about as much as widely used statin drugs, a small, one-month study suggests.

A low-fat veggie diet, plus some almonds, may reduce cholesterol levels asmuch as use of prescription statins.

By H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

If the findings hold up in a larger, longer study, they could have broad implications for the millions of people with high cholesterol.

Statin drugs are effective but costlier than adopting a strict vegetarian diet. Some patients cannot tolerate them, while others may prefer a non-drug approach.

The study was funded in part by the Canadian government and the Almond Board of California and was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study involved 46 men and women with high cholesterol levels. Sixteen ate the vegetarian diet for one month, 16 consumed a very low-fat diet, and 14 ate the low-fat diet and took 20 milligrams of lovastatin (sold as Mevacor) every day for a month.

The vegetarian group showed an average drop of 28.6% in their LDL cholesterol, the "bad cholesterol" that can raise the risk of heart disease. That was about equal to the 30.9% reduction seen in the low-fat diet plus statin group. By contrast, the low-fat diet-only group had just an 8% drop.

The vegetarian and statin groups had similar reductions in C-reactive protein, a blood marker of inflammation which in high levels increases heart disease risk, while a more modest effect was found in the low-fat diet-only group.

Further development of the diet studied "may provide a potentially valuable dietary option," said researchers led by Dr. David Jenkins and Cyril Kendall at the University of Toronto.

The fiber-rich vegetarian diet included eggplant, okra, soy protein, almonds, margarine containing plant sterols, barley and psyllium foods that alone have been shown to have potentially beneficial effects on cholesterol.

The diet was prepackaged and provided to patients; whether people in a non-study setting would be as successful in following the strict diet is unclear, Dr. James Anderson of the University of Kentucky said in an accompanying editorial.

Still, Anderson said that if the results are confirmed in other rigorous studies, they could have "far-reaching implications for a large number of patients" by enabling them to lower their cholesterol without drugs.
 

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Wow this is really great news!
Thank you for sharing it with the board 1 Vegan!


You know in my heart I believe that doctors know that a strict vegetarian diet would help out those with medical health problems, they just dont want to enforce it. I mean lets face it if everyone was vegetarian there may be less illnesses and therefore doctors would be out of a job!
 

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Lighthouse25, I used to feel the same way. Ornish did the legwork for these studies back in the 80s but it's really just plain common sense. And it kind of made me angry at first, when I really thought about it.

But the truth about why people (and doctors) prefer taking (prescribing) drugs to proper diet is really a lot simpler than that.

It's because even though proper diet works 99% of the time, about 98% of the time people will not stick to it, not unless they are in controlled environments:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=sb...ing.net&rnum=1
 
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