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New method may remove the idea of fasting before cholesterol test

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New method may remove the idea of fasting before cholesterol test
New method may remove the idea of fasting before cholesterol test. wikimedia commons
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New York, Jan 3, 2018: A new method of calculating so-called “bad cholesterol” levels has the potential to do away with the need to fast before blood is drawn for such screening, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that the new method is more accurate than an older method in people who did not fast before the cholesterol test.

The new method for calculating LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, was developed by Seth Martin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.

“Although the new LDL calculation method is a bit more complex, the beauty is that it can be performed using information that is already collected in the blood sample for the standard lipid profile and automated in the lab’s computer system to give a more accurate result,” Martin said.

“Since nonfasting samples are now accurate, it’s more convenient for patients because they can come in anytime and don’t need to return for a second appointment if they have eaten,” Martin added.

For the study, the researchers compared the accuracy of the new LDL calculation method with the Friedewald method, developed in the late 1970s when patients fasted or did not fast.

The Friedewald method was earlier shown by Martin and colleagues to underestimate LDL cholesterol levels, particularly in people with high triglycerides.

Triglycerides are fatty acids that tend to be higher in people with obesity and diabetes and that increase after eating.

The physicians did their comparison using data already gathered in a clinical repository.

In their final analysis, the researchers found that approximately 30 per cent of the nonfasting participants had greater than 10 milligrams per decilitre inaccurate cholesterol measurements using the Friedewald method compared with only three per cent error from the actual measured value with the new method.

The new test does not take any longer to provide results to physicians and patients, and the cost is the same to administer, the study said. (IANS)

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Eat Peanuts, Chickpeas, to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Blood Pressure

It also helped reduce 10-year coronary heart disease risk by 13 per cent, the study said

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Eat Peanuts, Chickpeas, to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Blood Pressure
Eat Peanuts, Chickpeas, to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Blood Pressure. Pixabay

Eating a diet that includes peanuts, chickpeas, apples and a little amount of plant sterols may lower cholesterol and improve blood pressure, new research has found.

The diet is based on the “Portfolio Diet,” which is a plant-based dietary pattern that emphasises a portfolio of four proven cholesterol-lowering foods.

“Previous clinical trials and observational studies have found strong evidence that a plant-based diet can improve heart health,” said one of the study authors, Hana Kahleova, Director of Clinical Research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC.

“This study demonstrates that certain plant foods are especially effective for lowering cholesterol and boosting our overall cardiovascular health,” Kahleova added.

Chickpeas,
Chickpeas, Pixabay

The diet that the researchers found beneficial included 42 grams of nuts (tree nuts or peanuts), 50 grams of plant protein from soy products or dietary pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas, or lentils), 20 grams of viscous soluble fiber from oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant, okra, apples, oranges, or berries and two grams of plant sterols from supplements or plant-sterol enriched products per day.

The findings, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, are based on a new meta-analysis, a statistical procedure that integrates the results of several independent studies.

Also Read: From Radio Signals A Pill Could Tell About Gut Health And Help Doctors

The results suggest that a diet that includes plant protein, fiber, nuts and plant sterols improves several markers for cardiovascular disease risk including reductions in cholesterol level and improvements in blood pressure.

Following the dietary pattern reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the “bad” cholesterol by 17 per cent, while also reducing total cholesterol, triglcyerides, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and C-reactive protein.

It also helped reduce 10-year coronary heart disease risk by 13 per cent, the study said. (IANS)