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October 2022

Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Oct; 38(4): 612-9.

Plasma lipids of vegetarian and nonvegetarian males: effects of egg consumption.

Liebman M, Bazzarre TL.

Mean fasting plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total triglycerides were 6, 7, and 19% lower (NS) in 36 vegetarian males compared to 18 nonvegetarian males of similar age, weight, height, alcohol consumption, and physical activity levels. None of the participants smoked. Although the vegetarian subjects were characterized by widely differing egg consumption levels, no relationships were observed between dietary or egg cholesterol intakes and plasma lipid levels. Total fat intake, however, appeared to exert an important influence upon plasma lipid levels within the vegetarian group. Total mean cholesterol and triglyceride levels were 11 and 21% lower and mean high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were 14% higher in low-fat vegetarians (23 to 33% kcal from fat) compared to high-fat vegetarians (35 to 48% kcal from fat). The similarity in lipid profiles between vegetarians and nonvegetarians may be partially explained by the relatively high fat intake (36.6%, mean) in the vegetarian subpopulation, and by the careful matching of vegetarians to nonvegetarians.

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