Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Diet May Be as Effective as Drugs in Reducing Cholesterol

Canadian researchers have developed a diet rich in fiber and vegetables that has been proven as effective as statin drugs in lowering cholesterol. Their "portfolio diet" consists of soy protein, almonds, and cereal fiber as well as plant sterols. The diet was tested on 34 overweight men and women and compared to a low-fat diet and a normal diet plus the generic statin drug lovastatin. Each of the volunteers followed each regimen for a month, with a break in between each treatment cycle. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that the low-fat diet lowered LDL -- the low-density lipoprotein commonly known as "bad" cholesterol -- by 8.5 percent after a month. Statins lowered LDL by 33 percent and the "portfolio" diet lowered LDL by nearly 30 percent. According to the research, a quarter of the group actually achieved their lowest LDL levels from being on the portfolio diet.


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