Cholesterol/LipidsDiet-NutritionFiberFlavonoids (Soy)Heart Disease

Complementary therapies as a foundation for effective cholesterol control

Dr. David Jenkins and colleagues at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have published research showing that diversifying cholesterol-lowering components in the same diet increases the effectiveness of diet as a treatment of high blood cholesterol levels.

First, the details.

  • 46 healthy adults with high lipid levels were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments.
  • Control: A diet very low in saturated fat and low-fat dairy foods
  • Statin: The same diet plus lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • Diet: A diet high in plant sterols, soy protein, viscous fibers, and almonds

And the change in LDL (bad) cholesterol after 4 weeks.

  • Control: -8%
  • Statin: -31%, significantly better than control
  • Diet: -29%, significantly better than control

The statin and diet groups also showed significant reductions in C-reactive protein of -33% and -28%. The blood level of C-reactive protein increases in inflammatory disorders, and is believed to play a role in the development of coronary artery disease.

These results support an earlier study by the same researchers.

The bottom line?
The researchers concluded, “that acceptable diets of foods from supermarkets and health food stores that contain recognized cholesterol-lowering dietary components in combination (a dietary portfolio) may be as effective as the starting dose of older first-line drugs in managing hypercholesterolemia.”

This comment by Ellen following an earlier post illustrates the success experienced by her and her husband by combining complementary therapies to achieve impressive results.

4/1/07 20:21 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.