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Diet Vs. Cholesterol

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A new study on diet and cholesterol may raise the blood pressure of drug makers

A new study on diet and cholesterol may raise the blood pressure of drug makers. University of Toronto researchers recently concluded that a diet high in soluble fibre and low in refined saturated fats lowers bad cholesterol as effectively as some medications.

After one month, participants with high cholesterol who followed a vegetarian diet containing foods such as okra, oatmeal, almonds, barley, soy proteins, and eggplant had a 28.6-per-cent reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol. Participants who followed the diet and also took a daily 20-milligram dose of lovastatin, a common cholesterol-lowering drug, saw a 30.9-per-cent drop.

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol causes fat deposits on blood vessel walls in layers, resulting in heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). According to Dr. James Anderson of the University of Kentucky, the cholesterol drop achieved by the high-fibre, low-fat diet will lower risk of heart attack by about 60 per cent.

The results were published July 23, 2003, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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