Diet plays a major role in reducing the bad cholesterol. For example food like oat bran is known to lower bad cholesterol. Canadian researchers said that by combining these food substances one can get the maximum benefit. People should go in for such diet as they are at a higher risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke. These diets reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) as effectively as a commonly prescribed medication.
Researchers found that in their study there is a drastic reduction of 20% in the LDL levels after the consumption of this combination diet when compared to those taking the statin drug, Lovastatin. Dr. David Jenkins, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto said that this diet consists of soy protein, margarine high in plant sterols and a fiber found in oat bran, barley, okra and eggplant.
Hence Jenkins, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, concluded that the proper kind and the right combination of the diet can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This is also another alternative for those who suffer from serious side effects such as severe muscle pain and elevated liver and muscle enzymes. But he also said that it is not completely true because the drug statin can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25 to 50 %. He said that it is also better if one can control their cholesterol levels by their diet rather than depending on medications.
But Dr. George Honos, a spokesman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, said that only one in three was able to lower their cholesterol by 20% which is not very significant. But on the other hand this study shows the difficulty in lowering LDL cholesterol through dietary means. He also pointed out that newer generation of statin drugs have lowered the risk for heart attack and stroke significantly.
The study involved 55 men and women in the mean age of about 60. Participants were asked to keep records of their diet pattern and also had regular blood tests to determine cholesterol levels. They were asked to consume certain daily quantities of soy protein, a brand of margarine rich in plant sterols, viscous soluble fiber like oat bran, and almonds. Jenkins said that with a sensible diet and lifestyle change, one would be able to get their lipid level down. The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.