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Sigma Nutrition Radio

May 23, 2022

With elevated LDL-cholesterol being a causal risk factor for atherosclerotic heart disease, having interventions to lower blood lipids, and in particular LDL-C, are crucial for population health. A number of drugs are now incredibly effective for this, with statins being the most widely used.

However, for those who do not wish to take a medication and/or have only a mild elevation, there may be potential for dietary intervention to lower LDL-C to a point where a statin (or other drug) is not needed.

A number of aspects of healthy dietary patterns have been known to reduce the liklihood of elevated blood lipids. Most notably perhaps, the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat in the diet (P:S ratio). And an absolute low level of saturated fat in the diet (e.g. < 10% of calories).

However, work by Dr. David Jenkins and collegegues put forward the idea of a “portfolio” of specific nutrients/foods that could additionally lower LDL-C. This became known as the Portfolio Diet. The four primary pillars of this portfolio diet are: soy protein, viscous fibers, nuts, and plant sterols.

In this episode, Danny talks to the originator of this work, Dr. Jenkins.