The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Lowering cholesterol using a plant-based diet

    beating heartCurrent guidelines recommend diet as first-line therapy to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

    But what constitutes an optimal dietary regimen?

    First, the details.

    • Researchers from The George Washington University, in Washington, DC reviewed the results from 27 studies.

    And, the results.

    • Of the 4 types of plant-based diets considered, a combination diet (vegetarian or vegan diet combined with nuts, soy, and/or fiber) resulted in the greatest effects.
      • Up to 35% lower LDL (bad) cholesterol).
    • The vegan and ovolactovegetarian diets were less effective.
    • Diets that permitted small amounts of lean meat demonstrated less dramatic reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Plant-based dietary interventions are effective in lowering plasma cholesterol concentrations.”

    Dr, Christopher Gardner at Stanford University Medical School, in California has studied the effects of diet on cholesterol. He tells us “The goal is more veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits, and the practical way to include them is in the menus of various cultures that have thrived for years on plant-based diets: Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American.” lists the top 5 foods to lower your blood levels of cholesterol.

    10/11/09 20:34 JR

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