Variability in Response to a Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Diet in Children with Elevated Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels
The reduction of dietary cholesterol and fat lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and reduces risk of coronary heart disease in adults. The purpose of this study was to determine the individual variability of response of serum lipid and lipoprotein levels to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet in children with elevated LDL-C levels. Thirty-two children (2 to 16 years of age) enrolled in a diet modification program, who had LDL-C levels of at least 110 mg/dL but normal triglyceride levels for their ages, were studied. Lipid levels and dietary nutrients were analyzed at the time of admission, and final assessments were made at least 3 months after entry. There was a significant correlation, for the group as a whole, between change in LDL-C concentration and change in grams of dietary saturated fat; however, there was marked individual variability in LDL-C response. There were no significant correlations between changes in LDL-C levels and changes in either total fat, polyunsaturated fat, or cholesterol intake. It is concluded that modest decreases in dietary saturated fat coincide with a lowering of LDL-C concentration, over a short term, in many children, but the degree of lowering varies considerably from one child to another. This variability is consistent with the concept that response of serum lipid levels to dietary changes is modified by genetic, metabolic, and other, as of yet, undefined variables.
- Received June 22, 1990.
- Accepted August 26, 1991.
- Copyright © 1992 by the American Academy of Pediatrics