A Plant-Based Cholesterol-Lowering Diet Score Correlates with Serum LDL-Cholesterol Levels

Year Published: 2024




Jerry Polesel 1 , Matteo Di Maso 2 , Giovanna Esposito 2 , Sara Vitale 3 , Elvira Palumbo 3 , Giuseppe Porciello 3 , Ilaria Calabrese 4 , Anita Minopoli 5 , Bruna Grilli 5 , Ernesta Cavalcanti 5 , Diego Serraino 1 , Egidio Celentano 3 , David J A Jenkins 6 7 8 9 , Livia S A Augustin 3 ; DEDiCa Study Group


Background: A cholesterol-lowering diet score was previously developed for epidemiological studies; its association with serum lipid profile was not confirmed yet. Methods: The score was developed as an adaptation of the dietary portfolio for cholesterol reduction, assigning one point for adherence to seven dietary indicators and ranging from 0 (null adherence) to 7 (highest adherence). The score was calculated for breast cancer patients enrolled in the DEDiCa study using a 7-day food record; serum lipid profile, including total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), was evaluated in serum at baseline.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Results: Patients with the highest adherence to the cholesterol-lowering diet (i.e., score ≥ 4) reported lower LDL-C level than women with score 0-1 (median: 107 mg/dL and 122 mg/dL, respectively; p < 0.01). The proportion of women with LDL-C above the recommended limit of 116 mg/dL was 60.0% with score 0-1 and 42.6% with score ≥4. Although the score directly correlates with consumption of foods from vegetal sources, it was mildly associated with the healthful plant-based diet index (r-Spearman = 0.51) and the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (r-Spearman = 0.30) Conclusions: These results provide experimental evidence that the cholesterol-lowering diet score is capable of detecting a specific plant-based dietary pattern that affects circulating cholesterol levels.