The study, published in JAMA, investigated whether consuming a diet consisting of foods recognized to lower cholesterol achieved significantly greater percentage decreases in LDL-cholesterol levels compared with a low-sat fat control diet over a six month period.
The researchers, led by Dr David Jenkins from the University of Toronto, Canada, reported that the use of the dietary portfolio of cholesterol lowering foods – which included foods such as plant sterols, soy protein, viscous fibres, and nuts – resulted in greater LDL-cholesterol lowering during the six month follow up, when compared with the low saturated fat diet – which emphasized high fibre and whole grains but lacked cholesterol lowering components.
“Our data demonstrate the cholesterol lowering potential of a dietary portfolio intervention that counsels participants to increase consumption of cholesterol lowering foods,” said the researchers.
“Our study also represents the first randomized trial to our knowledge to assess the ability of an intervention that counsels for consumption of these cholesterol-lowering foods to reduce LDL-cholesterol at 6-month follow-up in real-world conditions,” they added.
The researchers noted that combining foods with recognized cholesterol-lowering properties in to a ‘dietary portfolio’ has proven effective in lowering serum cholesterol under controlled conditions.
In the new randomised controlled trial, 351 participants with hyperlipidemia received dietary advice for six months on either a low-saturated fat therapeutic diet (control) or a dietary portfolio that emphasized dietary incorporation of plant sterols, soy protein, viscous fibres, and nuts.
Jenkins and his team observed that the control diet led to reductions in LDL cholesterol of 3% in a six month period, whilst the ‘portfolio diet’ containing foods to specifically lower cholesterol was found to reduce LDL-cholesterol by 13%.
“This study indicated the potential value of using recognized cholesterol-lowering foods in combination,” concluded Jenkins and his colleagues.
Volume 306, Issue 8, paged 831-839
“Effect of a Dietary Portfolio of Cholesterol-Lowering Foods Given at 2 Levels of Intensity of Dietary Advice on Serum Lipids in Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
Authors: D.J.A. Jenkins, P.J.H. Jones, B. Lamarche, C.W.C. Kendall, D. Faulkner, et al