"Early low-fat diet improves children's heart health
www.chinaview.cn 2005-12-06 09:43:42
BEIJING, Dec. 6 -- Previous reports have shown that early dietary
interventions can improve cholesterol levels in children, and now new
research adds to this by showing that blood-vessel function is also
enhanced, at least in boys.
The findings, which appear in the American Heart Association's journal
Circulation, are based on a study of 1062 healthy 11-year-old children
who were either put on a low saturated fat diet or and unrestricted
diet starting in infancy.
Somewhat fewer than 200 children in each diet group had the elasticity
of the interior walls (or endothelium) of their veins and arteries
measured by using ultrasound to look at dilation of the blood vessels
under various circumstances.
The low-fat diet was associated with better endothelial function in
boys and girls, but this was significant from a statistical standpoint
only in boys, Dr. Olli T. Raitakari, from the University of Turku in
Finland, and colleagues note.
"Early nutrition may play an important role in the later vascular
health of males," Raitakari said in a statement. "It may be associated
with less atherosclerosis and a lower future risk of cardiovascular
As to why a significant association was not seen in girls, Raitakari
said it may relate to "differences in sex hormone levels."