Posted by: Stephanie Faris
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Statins have become one of the most prescribed drugs on the market. Used for lowering cholesterol and maintaining heart health, statins like Lipitor and Lescol are taken by an estimated 32 million people in the U.S. alone. But for those with high cholesterol, the popular Mediterranean diet could boost the effectiveness of these drugs.
A team of researchers in Italy studied 1,180 patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. The average age of participants in the study was 67.7 years. For nearly eight years, the team monitored the progress of the participants as they followed the Mediterranean diet while taking statins for their heart disease. Those who strictly followed the diet showed an all-around lower risk of a cardiovascular-related fatality. Even those in the study who only followed the diet in the average-to-high range showed a reduced risk of a cardiovascular death when compared to participants who either didn’t follow the diet adequately or didn’t take statins. The study found that participants who only took statins didn’t have a reduced risk of death.
The Mediterranean diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in the West Coast and Northeast areas of the U.S. It focuses heavily on vegetables, fish, and whole grains while minimizing consumption of meat, dairy, and processed foods.