March 7, 2008 -- Looking to tame your high cholesterol? New research shows what results you might get if you consult a registered dietitian.
The University of Michigan's Katherine Rhodes, PhD, RD, and colleagues studied data on 219 U.S. adults with high cholesterol.
All of the patients consulted a registered dietitian at least once about their high cholesterol during the 17-month study. During that time, they either weren't taking cholesterol drugs or didn't change to a different cholesterol drug.
By the end of the study, almost 45% of the patients cut their LDL "bad" cholesterol by at least 15% and/or met their LDL cholesterol goal. That includes 12% of the patients who cut their LDL cholesterol by at least 30%.
The patients also cut back on fat, including saturated fat, after visiting a nutritionist. And they lost a modest amount of weight -- about 2% of their weight, on average -- and reported exercising more often.
Would they have improved as much without a visit to a nutritionist? That's not clear, since the study didn't include a comparison group of patients who didn't consult a nutritionist. And the findings may not apply to all cholesterol patients.
The study appears in February's edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.