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Weighing the risk versus benefits (Taken from Dr. Ruby’s blog)

Hopefully my last few posts have helped clear up some of the myths surrounding dietary fats and cholesterol.  It has become increasingly apparent that the traditional recommendation of a low cholesterol, low fat diet is not the answer to reducing the cardiovascular impact of dyslipidemia or abnormal cholesterol and blood fats.  In addition, the use of  statins has a risk versus benefit ratio that my preclude their use in some individuals.  And lastly, traditional therapy for cholesterol lowering does not fully address the fact that abnormal cholesterol is a manifestation of inflammation.

Diet does matter

Sufficient evidence exist that a diet high in simple processed carbohydrates and saturated fats is responsible for the dramatic proliferation of the diabesity epidemic, which in turn, is the primary culprit for inflammation, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease.  Several studies have shown promising results in the area of dietary intervention for dyslipidemia.

The Portfoli diet is a lifestyle program that incorporates cholesterol-lowering foods like soy, nuts, and plant sterols to lower blood cholesterol naturally.   Several studies have shown  a 13 – 29% reduction in LDL cholesterol in subjects following the portfolio diet for 6 months compared to the 3 – 8% LDL reduction seen in the traditional low fat diet.  The subjects following the portfolio diet also had a nearly 10% reduction in their triglyceride levels.

The Omni-Heart Trial, a randomized study that studied the impact of diet on high blood pressure and dyslipidemia ( high cholesterol), found that a diet high in plant based carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fats had a favorable affect on blood pressure and cholesterol values.  Further substitution of carbohydrates with either protein or monounsaturated fats further lowered blood pressure and improved lipid values.  The anti-atherosclerotic impact of the dietary changes had multiple benefits including;

  • Reduction in total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and LP(a)
  • Increased HDL -especially the more protective HDL
  • Improved particle size
  • Decreased LDL particle numbers
  • Reduction in oxidized LDL
  • Reduction in inflammatory markers such as hs-CRP
  • Increased NO (nitric oxide)
  • Antioxidant affect
  • Lowered BP effect


How much evidence do we need….

One of the biggest remarks I hear from other health care providers when they find out I am transitioning to a functional medicine model of practice is that “there is no evidence to support the use of nutritional supplements”.   One of the main reasons I chose functional medicine as a specialty is that there is abundant evidence to support that food is medicine and nutritional supplements help fill the gap that exists between what we get from our foods and what we need to achieve optimal health.  How many randomized long term trials do we need before we start telling people that their diets are killing them and that changing their lifestlye and incorporating quality nutritional supplements can reduce the inflammation associated with chronic disease?  Did you know that it takes an average of 17 years for the studies from today to be translated into traditional medical practice?  To read the rest of this article go to http://drlauraruby.com/inflammation-and-chronic-disease/treating-dyslipidemia-naturally-part-2-a-review-of-the-evidence/

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