The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Effects of non-soy legumes on cholesterol levels

    Non-soy legumesNon-soy legumes include a variety of beans, peas, and some seeds. They are commonly consumed in Western countries.

    Researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine, in New Orleans, Louisiana reviewed the evidence.

    First, the details.

    • 10 studies of 268 participants were selected.
    • Each compared a non-soy legume diet to control for at least 3 weeks.

    And, the results.

    • The change in total cholesterol blood levels for those treated with a legume diet compared to a control group was -11.8 mg/dL.
    • The change in LDL (bad) cholesterol was -8.0 mg/dL.

    The bottom line
    The authors concluded, “A diet rich in legumes other than soy decreases total and LDL cholesterol.

    So, if you have borderline high LDL cholesterol levels of 130 to 159 mg/dL, adding non-legumes to your diet will help but probably not bring your LDL cholesterol into the optimal range of less than 100 mg/dL.

    For perspective, statins lower cholesterol by 20% to 60%. Starting at a level of 159 mg/dL, a 20% to 60% reduction might achieve optimal levels. Examples of statin drugs include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), rosuvastatin (Crestor).

    Non-legumes should be considered part of a comprehensive approach to controlling cholesterol.

    11/27/09 21:49 JR

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