Is diet management helpful in familial hypercholesterolemia? Lynne Garton our Dietetic Adviser, explores.

Is diet management helpful in familial hypercholesterolemia? Lynne Garton our Dietetic Adviser, explores.

A recent review has concluded a low saturated fat diet should continue to be recommended in those with FH.

Due to the scale of LDL reductions required in FH management, medication is considered the cornerstone of treatment and dietary therapy has received less emphasis. The purpose of the current review was to re-assess the case for reducing saturated fat and determine the value of dietary management for FH patients.

Results from older dietary intervention studies and new insights from genetic and mechanistic studies found that a reduction in saturated fat intake lowers cholesterol and improves outcomes in those with FH. Oat fibres and plant sterol/ stanols were also found to be beneficial.

Contrary to popular belief, those with elevated LDL cholesterol because of genetic causes benefit more than the general population from dietary management due to a higher baseline risk for coronary heart disease.

The authors concluded that in patients with FH, reductions in saturated fat intake will lead to small but additional lowering of LDL cholesterol and future coronary heart disease risk. For all lipid-lowering medications, except probably ezetimibe, dietary management, which includes saturated fat reduction, inclusion of oat fibre and added plant stanols/ sterols, provides added cholesterol lowering and health benefit.

This new study is published in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care.

 

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