- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
Eating mostly plant-based foods may lower blood levels of harmful fats, new research confirms.
For the study, researchers pooled results from 30 trials (including a total of nearly 2,400 people) published over the past four decades. All participants were randomly assigned to follow either a vegetarian diet (which included dairy and eggs but no meat), a vegan diet (which omitted all animal products), or an omnivorous diet (which included meat and dairy products). The average duration of the diets was 29 weeks. Compared with people eating an omnivorous diet, those following a vegetarian or vegan diet experienced average drops in levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B of 7%, 10% and 14%, respectively, from levels measured at the start of the study. (Apolipoprotein B is a particle found on LDL as well as other artery-clogging lipoproteins in the blood.)
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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