Heart Disease and Stroke

Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of borderline hypertension.

BACKGROUND: Hypertension-related diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in industrially developed societies. Surprisingly, 68% of all mortality attributed to high blood pressure (BP) occurs with systolic BP between 120 and 140 mm Hg and diastolic BP below 90 mm Hg. Dietary and lifestyle modifications are effective in the treatment of borderline hypertension. One such lifestyle intervention is the use of medically supervised water-only fasting as a safe and effective means of normalizing BP and initiating health-promoting behavioral changes.

[High density lipoprotein cholesterol. Normal values, influence of vascular risk factors and of a vegetarian diet (author's transl)].

The serum levels of cholesterol bound to high density lipoproteins (HDL-C) were determined by the heparin-manganese chloride precipitation method in 306 subjects, 182 male with ages ranging from 11 to 81 years, and 124 female with ages ranging from 7 to 78 years. Twenty six subjects belonged to a lacto-vegetarian community, while the remaining 280 were healthy volunteers, factory workmen sampled during a regular check-up, and either outpatients or inpatients being evaluated for minor illnesses or minor surgery.

The effect of a virtually cholesterol-free, high-linoleic-acid vegetarian diet on serum lipoproteins of children with familial hypercholesterolemia (type II-A).

The effect of a virtually cholesterol-free, high-linoleic-acid vegetarian diet and a high-linoleic-acid "normal" diet with a moderate cholesterol content was tested in 39 children heterozygote for hypercholesterolemia type II-A. The diets were administered in an outpatient cross-over design of two periods of 10 weeks each and the serum lipoproteins were analyzed at the end of the two 10-week periods. The vegetarian diet induced a decrease in serum concentrations of LDL-II total and free cholesterol and of apo-B, by an average of 10%, whereas HDL cholesterol and apo-A-I decreased by 4%.

Diet and reproductive hormones: a study of vegetarian and nonvegetarian postmenopausal women.

In comparison with matched nonvegetarian women, postmenopausal vegetarian women were found to have lower urinary levels of estriol and total estrogens, lower plasma prolactin levels, and higher plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels. These differences were not explained by differences in body weight or obesity. Plasma SHBG levels were highly correlated with plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which were also higher in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians.

The concentration of cholesterol in serum and in various serum lipoproteins in macrobiotic, vegetarian and non-vegetarian men and boys.

The concentrations of total and high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and the ratio of HDL-cholesterol to total cholesterol have been examined in groups of non-vegetarian, semi-lactovegetarian, lactovegetarian and marcobiotic men aged 30-39 years and boys aged 6-11 years. In the men, the concentration of total cholesterol ranged from 3.8 mmol/l in the macrobiotics to 5.5 mmol/l in the non-vegetarians, while the concentration of HDL-cholesterol varied between 1.2 mmol/l and 1.4 mmol/l.

The effects of a vegetarian diet on platelet function and fatty acids.

Nine healthy subjects taking an average mixed "Western" diet were placed on a vegetarian diet poor in arachidonic acid for four weeks. All animal and marine foods except for cows milk and milk products were excluded. Platelet aggregation responses to arachidonic acid and epinephrine increased slightly whereas responses to ADP and collagen were unchanged. Platelet thromboxane production, platelet counts, serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides did not change but total and HDL serum cholesterol levels fell significantly.

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