Vegetarian Diet Aids Outcomes in Patients With or at High Risk for CVD

Biggest benefits seen for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HbA1c levels, and body weight
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2023, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- A vegetarian diet may modestly but significantly improve cardiometabolic outcomes in people with or at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a review published online July 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Tian Wang, R.D., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature search to identify studies examining the association of vegetarian diets with major cardiometabolic risk factors in people with or at high risk for CVD. Included in the final meta-analysis were 20 randomized clinical trials totaling 1,878 participants.

The researchers found that beyond standard therapy, consuming vegetarian diets for an average of six months was associated with decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; 6.6 mg/dL), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c; 0.24 percent), and body weight (3.4 kg), relative to all comparison diets. However, the association with systolic blood pressure was not significant. The evidence was graded as moderate for LDL-C and HbA1c reduction.

"These results suggest that consuming a vegetarian diet may modestly but significantly improve cardiometabolic outcomes beyond standard pharmacological therapy in individuals at high risk of CVDs, highlighting the potential protective and synergistic effects of vegetarian diets for the primary prevention of CVD," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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