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Int J Obes. 1990 Feb;14(2):113-25.

Long-term effects on lipid metabolism of weight reduction on lactovegetarian and mixed diet.

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Rehabilitation Research Centre of the Social Insurance Institution, Turku, Finland.


The effects of two dietary weight reduction programmes (1200 kcal/day) on lipid metabolism were followed for one year in moderately obese subjects. The groups consisted of lactovegetarian (n = 31), mixed diet (n = 37) and control (n = 42) groups. Serum triglyceride levels decreased rapidly during the first two weeks (46 per cent on average) especially in the mixed diet group, and this change was still statistically significant at 6 and 12 months after the beginning of the study. Serum total cholesterol levels also decreased rapidly in the beginning, but at 6 and 12 months the change was no longer statistically significant. After a small initial decrease HDL cholesterol levels appeared to increase towards the end of the study year. This increase was more marked in men (18.6 per cent at 6 months) than in women, and in the mixed diet group than in the lactovegetarian group (P less than 0.05 between the groups). The HDL/total cholesterol ratio increased rapidly in the beginning of the weight reduction and practically remained at the elevated (12-16 per cent) level during the whole follow-up. This increase was also more apparent in men than in women, and in the mixed diet group than in the lactovegetarian group. The changes in HDL subfractions, HDL2 and HDL3, paralleled those seen in the HDL cholesterol levels. Similarly the alterations in apolipoproteins A-I and B resembled those of the HDL and total cholesterol levels. The activity of adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase decreased drastically (about 50 per cent) at the beginning of the weight reduction, while at 6 and 12 months the mean activities were higher than the initial levels. This was also seen in the LPL activity when measured in post-heparin plasma. The activity of post-heparin plasma hepatic lipase decreased clearly at both 6 (P less than 0.001) and 12 months (P less than 0.01) in the mixed diet group, whereas no change was found in the lactovegetarian group. The ratio of subscapular to triceps skinfold reduced significantly (P less than 0.01) in women but not in men during the intervention period. Our study shows that in moderately overweight subjects weight reduction with the aid of a low-calorie dietary programme results in favourable responses in lipid metabolism many months after the cessation of the weight reduction programme. These responses appear to be stronger in subjects following mixed diet than in those attempting to follow a lactovegetarian diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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