Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Vegan and vegetarian diets are associated with decreased bad cholesterol levels

The study found that plant-based diets in particular lower levels of a lipoprotein, which is gaining popularity as a more accurate measure of heart health than "bad" cholesterol.

According to a recent study, a vegetarian or vegan diet can lower the body’s dietary cholesterol levels. The study specifically demonstrates that such diets lower lipoprotein levels, which may be a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease than low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.

Proteins and lipids combine to form the particles known as lipoproteins. They contain lipids like triglycerides and cholesterol.

According to the study, those who follow a plant-based diet for at least five years had a 7% lower total cholesterol level and a 14% lower level of all artery-blocking lipoproteins, which lowers their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Plant based diets

High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholestLow HDL-cholesterol levels in young adults can predict arterial stiffnesserol, is one type of cholesterol lipid that helps prevent heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) overproduction, on the other hand, raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The risk reduction brought on by plant-based diets was roughly equivalent to one-third of the effect that drugs like statins have on lowering cholesterol.

The study’s authors also mentioned the advantages for combating climate change that a greater consumption of plant-based diets would bring.

The study is a meta-analysis, or study of studies, that examined the findings of 30 separate randomised trials that looked at the impact of plant-based diets on cholesterol and were published between 1980 and 2022.

Taka away

Dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, the study’s principal investigator, emphasised the significance of cholesterol despite the fact that it is frequently mentioned negatively. Dr. Frikke-Schmidt stated that cholesterol is essential for things like hormones, bile, and cell membranes.

Traditional Western diets, on the other hand, include far more cholesterol than is necessary, which raises plasma levels and raises the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Less cholesterol in a plant-based diet nevertheless meets the body’s requirements.

Additionally, Dr. Frikke-Schmidt mentioned that vegetarian and vegan diets seem to stimulate the liver to manufacture more LDL receptors, allowing the body to more effectively absorb cholesterol from the bloodstream.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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