Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nutritional Compounds To Support Cholesterol Reduction

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is still the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world, but its prognosis has improved during the past decades, in part because of better understanding of CHD's underlying pathology. Researchers have identified factors, both modifiable and nonmodifiable, that are associated with CHD risk. Much research on CHD risk has focused specifically on the distribution of cholesterol through different lipoproteins. For example, elevated low-density lipoprotein levels or low high-density lipoprotein levels signal an unfavorable fasting lipoprotein profile. Moreover, evidence is mounting that increased serum triacylglycerol concentration is positively related to cardiovascular risk. [ 1 ]

Diet is a cornerstone for improving unfavorable lipoprotein profiles. Studies continue to support dietary advice that focuses on reducing cholesterol as well as saturated and trans fatty acid intake; eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains; and preventing obesity. [ 2, 3 ] By achieving these goals, people can often reduce their LDL cholesterol by 10 percent to 15 percent.

Functional foods offer further lipid profile improvements. Most promising are soy protein, soluble fiber, fish oils and plant sterols or stanols, all of which help improve serum lipoprotein profiles.

Click on the Waiora link to find more info about fish oils and one of the only fiber products that also contains plant sterols.

Until next time,


1. Austin MA. Plasma triglyceride and coronary heart disease. Arterioscler Thromb 1991;11:2-14.

2. Grundy SM. United States cholesterol guidelines 2001: expanded scope of intensive low-density lipoprotein-lowering therapy. Am J Cardiol 2001;88:23J-7J.

3. Kraus RM, et al. AHA dietary guidelines. Revision 2000: a statement for health care professionals from the nutrition committee of the American Heart Association. Circulation 2000;102:2284-99.

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