The Cochrane Collaboration has reanalyzed the results from studies of 914 patients treated with oatmeal foods for at least 4 weeks. Eight studied the effects of whole-grain foods or diets for at least 4 weeks.
Here’s what they found.
7 of 8 studies compared the response to eating oatmeal foods to lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol blood levels to a control diet.
Total cholesterol declined 7.7 mg/dL (0.2 mmol/L)
LDL cholesterol declined 6.9 mg/dL (0.18 mmol/L)
None of the studies reported and effect on morbidity or mortality due to coronary heart disease
The bottom line?
Let’s say your LDL cholesterol is 159 mg/dL.
Based on the classification by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, you have a “borderline high” level.
Your target is to get your LDL cholesterol to at least 129 mg/dL — “near optimal/above optimal.”
By following a diet high in whole grains you lower this value by 6.9 mg/dL.
That’s a new LDL cholesterol level of 152 mg/dL.
Eating whole-grain foods is complementary to a comprehensive program that also includes drugs and exercise to lower cholesterol and lower your risk of complications from heart disease.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.