Editorial: Dietary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease – The Lyon Diet Heart Study.

January 1, 1999 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Editorial: Dietary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease – The Lyon Diet Heart Study.

Year: 1999
Authors: A Leaf.
Publication Name: Circulation.
Publication Details: Volume 99; Page 773.


In this Editorial article, the author provides an overview of the significant findings reported in this issue of Circulation by de Lorgeril, et al. regarding the protective effects of a Mediterranean diet and the risk of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction. de Lorgeril and co-workers report that following four years, the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of a second heart attack and the overall death rate by as much as 70%. Among dietary constituents, only ALA was significantly correlated with a reduction in myocardial infarction. This observation was largely attributed to an increase in the consumption of canola-oil margarines. Leaf stresses a number of important messages that are apparent in the results of de Lorgeril’s research. Firstly, this well-conducted study indicates that relatively simple dietary changes such a reduction in total intake of SFAs and an increase in intake of ALA through the consumption of canola oil can led to significant reductions in coronary heart disease mortality. This is significant at a time when health professionals, the pharmaceutical community and research and funding agencies are “almost totally focused on lowering plasma cholesterol levels by drugs”. Drugs are costly and many of the adverse side effects of drug treatment could be avoided with an effective dietary approach such as suggested by the de Lorgeril study. Good adherence to the Mediterranean diet indicates that it is realistic for people to modify their diets over the long term. The results of de Lorgeril support previous observations that only in trials in which n-6 PUFAs are lowered and n-3 PUFAs are increased, cardiovascular disease risk and occurrence is reduced. Leaf emphasizes that dietary factors are very important in heart disease reduction and more attention must be directed towards the clinical study of PUFAs as well as to public education.

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