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Study shows cholesterol-lowering power of dietitian visits
Date:3/4/2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Worried about your cholesterol? You may want to schedule a few appointments with a registered dietitian, to get some sound advice about how to shape up your eating habits, according to a new national study led by University of Michigan Health System researchers.

Not only are you likely to lower your cholesterol levels, you may be able to avoid having to take cholesterol medication, or having to increase your dose if youre already taking one. And youll probably lose weight in the process, which also helps your heart.

The new results, published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, are based on data from 377 patients with high cholesterol who were counseled by 52 registered dietitians at 24 sites in 11 states.

In the group of 175 patients who started the study with triglycerides less than 400 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL), and who had their cholesterol measured before they changed or added medication, 44.6 percent either reduced their levels of bad cholesterol by at least 15 percent, or reached their cholesterol goal.

The results reflect progress in approximately eight months, after three or more appointments with a dietitian. But the results add further evidence that medical nutrition therapy, as it is called, can make a big difference in a patients life.

All of the R.D.s in the study based their advice to their patients on the latest research-based evidence about eating habits and cholesterol levels available at the time of the study: the American Dietetic Associations 1998 Medical Nutrition Therapy Hyperlipidemia Protocol.

Since that time, the ADA has updated the clinical guideline based on new research, which means that patients who see an R.D. today may have even more success.

The study was funded by the ADA and its Clinical Nutrition Management Dietetic Practice Group, and based on a framework developed for a pilot projec
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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