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23-02-2017 | Cardiology | News | Article

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Mediterranean diet may improve HDL atheroprotective functions

medwireNews: Adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet (TMD) could improve the atheroprotective functions of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) among people with high cardiovascular risk, results from a substudy of the PREDIMED trial suggest.

The researchers isolated HDL particles from 100 participants adhering to a TMD enhanced with virgin olive oil (TMD-VOO), 100 participants following a TMD enhanced with nuts (TMD-nuts), and 96 following a low-fat control diet.

They found that cholesterol efflux capacity of the HDL particles improved significantly from baseline to 1 year among participants in the TMD-VOO and TMD-nuts groups, with respective increases of approximately 0.020 and 0.025 standard units, but there was no significant improvement in cholesterol efflux capacity among participants adhering to a low-fat diet.

Participants following the TMD-VOO diet also had higher HDL antioxidant and vasodilatory capacities than those in the low-fat diet group, report Montserrat Fitó (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain) and co-authors in Circulation.

“[T]hese results indicate that a Mediterranean diet is a practical lifestyle-focused approach to improving HDL function and has the proven benefit of reducing cardiovascular risk,” says Daniel Rader (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA) in an accompanying editorial.

However, he notes: “Whether promotion of HDL [cholesterol efflux capacity] causally contributes to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet remains to be established.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2017

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