Abstract Title:

Effect of alfalfa meal on shrinkage (regression) of atherosclerotic plaques during cholesterol feeding in monkeys.

Abstract Source:

Atherosclerosis. 1980 Nov;37(3):433-8. PMID: 98169

Abstract Author(s):

M R Malinow, P McLaughlin, H K Naito, L A Lewis, W P McNulty


A semipurified diet containing 1.2 mg of cholesterol/Cal was fed to cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). At the end of 6 months, a group of 18 animals was killed for evaluation of atherosclerosis in the aorta and the coronary arteries. The remaining monkeys were assigned to three groups of 18 animals each and fed, during the following 18 months, semipurified diets containing 0.34 mg of cholesterol/Cal with or without alfalfa meal, or a diet consisting entirely of Monkey Chow. a decrease in cholesterolemia and plasma phospholipid levels, normalization in the distribution of plasma lipoproteins, and reduction in the extent of aortic and coronary atherosclerosis were observed in monkeys fed the semipurified diet containing alfalfa, although the intake of cholesterol remained as high as in the usual American diet. These changes, also observed in monkeys fed a chow diet almost devoid of cholesterol, suggest that alfalfa counteracts the atherogenic effect of dietary cholesterol.

Study Type : Animal Study

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