The study found that vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with a 14% reduction in all artery-clogging lipoproteins and would result in a 7% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease in someone who maintained a plant-based diet for five years.
ERIC RALLS: New research has revealed that vegetarian and vegan diets have a notable impact on reducing cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream. This study, published by the European Society of Cardiology, is rooted in an exhaustive analysis of randomized trials conducted over the past four decades, brings to light how adopting a plant-based diet could significantly decrease the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, including stroke and heart attacks.
The study closely examined 30 randomized trials involving a total of 2,372 participants. Spanning the period from 1982 to 2022, these trials scrutinized the effect of plant-based diets versus meat-inclusive diets on various aspects of cardiovascular health.
The experts tracked levels of all types of cholesterol, including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol, triglycerides – a type of fat found in the blood – and apolipoprotein B (apoB), a protein that carries fat and cholesterol in the blood, indicating the total amount of harmful fats and cholesterol present in the body…
Despite several previous meta-analyses delving into the subject, none have been published since 2017. More significantly, none have considered variables such as continent, age, body mass index, and health status or specifically examined diet’s impact on apoB concentrations. This study’s approach makes it particularly enlightening.
Professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, chief physician at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, conducted the study in collaboration with medical student Caroline Amalie Koch and Dr. Emilie Westerlin Kjeldsen.
“We found that vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with a 14% reduction in all artery-clogging lipoproteins as indicated by apolipoprotein B. This corresponds to a third of the effect of taking cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins, and would result in a 7% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease in someone who maintained a plant-based diet for five years,” said Professor Frikke-Schmidt.
She added that while statin treatment has superior effects in reducing fats and cholesterol levels, it does not preclude the adoption of plant-based diets. Quite the contrary, combining statins with plant-based diets is likely to yield a synergistic effect, amplifying the beneficial impact.
Professor Frikke-Schmidt emphasized the significant potential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by blocked arteries, especially if people adopt vegetarian or vegan diets early in life.
Professor Frikke-Schmidt underlined the broad applicability of the study’s results, stating that they found similar patterns across continents, ages, different body mass indexes, and health statuses. “We saw significant effects from both vegetarian and vegan diets and people ranging from a normal weight to obese.”
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death worldwide, with over 18 million people succumbing to it annually. SOURCE…