Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Managing Cholesterol

Good diet and nutrient levels improve blood fats

Metabolic syndrome includes several factors such as a waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and elevated fasting blood sugar. Earlier research showed that low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets don’t necessarily reduce blood fats, and some actually increase them.

To address this, doctors in this study added omega-3s to a typical low-fat diet. In the study, 117 people with metabolic syndrome ate a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet, plus 1,240 mg of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA/DHA) per day, or a sunflower oil placebo. Two other groups ate a high-saturated-fat diet or a high-monounsaturated-fat diet. After 12 weeks, those on the high-saturated fat diet had not improved. Those on the low-fat diet with placebo had higher triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels while those on the low-fat diet with EPA/DHA had lower levels. Those on the high-monounsaturated fat diet also had lower blood fat levels.

Folate may increase LDL cholesterol particle size

LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, comes in large and small particles. Large LDL particles are relatively benign, but small LDL particles can more easily oxidize and stick to artery linings, forming hardened plaques. Doctors wanted to explore a link between nutrients such as B vitamins and LDL particle size.

In this study, researchers measured blood fats and folate levels in 225 hospital workers. Scientists found a strong link; as blood levels of folate rose, LDL particle size increased; HDL, the “good” cholesterol, also increased and triglycerides decreased. Doctors believe folate may help enhance and control LDL particle size, reducing chances of hardening of the arteries.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition; 2010, Vol. 140, No. 9, 1595-601

From the April 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 20 - 2011
categories: Supplements

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