Giessen Wholesome Nutrition Study: relation between a health-conscious diet and blood lipids

I Hoffmann, M J Groeneveld, H Boeing, C Koebnick, S Golf, N Katz, C Leitzmann
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001, 55 (10): 887-95

OBJECTIVE: To study in humans the relationship between a diet consistent with most of the current recommendations for the prevention of nutrition-related diseases (Wholesome Nutrition) and the blood lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL-, HDL-cholesterol, LDL/HDL-ratio, triglycerides).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study with two diet groups.

SETTING: Former West Germany.

SUBJECTS: Healthy women (n=243, aged 25-65 y) adhering to Wholesome Nutrition for at least 5 y (subdivided into 111 ovo-lacto vegetarians and 132 low-meat eaters) and an according control group of 175 women eating an average German mixed diet. They were all recruited through an advertisement campaign and selected on the basis of their food consumption.

RESULTS: Considering potential confounders, the Wholesome Nutrition subgroups had higher HDL-cholesterol levels than the control group. No differences were observed for total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. For LDL/HDL-ratio and triglycerides the effect of diet was dependent on interaction terms. With increasing risk factors (age or body mass index (BMI)) the Wholesome Nutrition subgroups showed more favourable blood lipids.

CONCLUSIONS: Women eating a preventive diet on a long-term basis exhibit more favourable blood lipid profiles than women consuming an average mixed diet. This is particularly obvious for HDL-cholesterol in the presence of certain risk factors and when an ovo-lacto vegetarian version is practised.

SPONSORSHIP: Eden Foundation, Bad Soden, Germany.

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