Consumption of a defined, plant-based diet reduces lipoprotein(a), inflammation, and other atherogenic lipoproteins and particles within 4 weeks.


Najjar RS, Moore CE, Montgomery BD.

Year Published: 



Clin Cardiol.


Study Design: 

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BACKGROUND: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a highly atherogenic lipoprotein and is minimally effected by lifestyle changes. While some drugs can reduce Lp(a), diet has not consistently shown definitive reduction of this biomarker. The effect of consuming a plant-based diet on serum Lp(a) concentrations have not been previously evaluated. HYPOTHESIS: Consumption of a defined, plant-based for 4 weeks reduces Lp(a). METHODS: Secondary analysis of a previous trial was conducted, in which overweight and obese individuals (n = 31) with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations >100 mg/dL consumed a defined, plant-based diet for 4 weeks. Baseline and 4-week labs were collected. Data were analyzed using a paired samples t-test. RESULTS: Significant reductions were observed for serum Lp(a) (-32.0 ± 52.3 nmol/L, P = 0.003), apolipoprotein B (-13.2 ± 18.3 mg/dL, P < 0.0005), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles (-304.8 ± 363.0 nmol/L, P < 0.0005) and small-dense LDL cholesterol (-10.0 ± 9.2 mg/dL, P < 0.0005). Additionally, serum interleukin-6 (IL-6), total white blood cells, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and fibrinogen were significantly reduced (P ≤ 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: A defined, plant-based diet has a favorable impact on Lp(a), inflammatory indicators, and other atherogenic lipoproteins and particles. Lp(a) concentration was previously thought to be only minimally altered by dietary interventions. In this protocol however, a defined plant-based diet was shown to substantially reduce this biomarker. Further investigation is required to elucidate the specific mechanisms that contribute to the reductions in Lp(a) concentrations, which may include alterations in gene expression.