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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Randomized trial of the effects of cholesterol-lowering dietary treatment on psychological function.

PURPOSE: Epidemiological studies have suggested that cholesterol lowering could affect psychological functioning. This study was designed to test whether cholesterol-lowering diets adversely affect mood and cognitive function.5.2 mM [198 mg/dL]) to either a low-fat diet, a Mediterranean diet, or a waiting-list control. Cholesterol levels, psychological well-being (depression, anxiety, hostility), and cognitive function were assessed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks.RESULTS: Total serum cholesterol levels fell significantly more in the intervention groups (8.2% reduction) than in the control group (P <0.001). All three groups showed a modest improvement in psychological well-being during the 12-week treatment period, but there were no differences among the groups. There were no between-group differences on three measures of cognitive function, but for a fourth measure, which involved the task with the greatest processing load, the two intervention groups did significantly worse (P <0.001) than the control group. The change in performance was correlated with the change in total serum cholesterol level (r = 0. 21, P = 0.01).CONCLUSIONS: Two dietary interventions that successfully lowered serum cholesterol levels had no adverse effect on mood. There was some evidence for a relative impairment in cognitive function in the treated groups in one of four cognitive tests, but additional studies will be required to determine the relevance of this finding.[1]


  1. Randomized trial of the effects of cholesterol-lowering dietary treatment on psychological function. Wardle, J., Rogers, P., Judd, P., Taylor, M.A., Rapoport, L., Green, M., Nicholson Perry, K. Am. J. Med. (2000) [Pubmed]
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