Diet and exercise can have an immediate impact on improving cholesterol levels and biomarkers linked to heart disease in children, suggests a study released last month at the American Heart Association’s national conference.
A summary of the report, “Effect of a Short-Term Diet and Exercise Program on Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, Serum Adhesion Molecules, Myeloperoxidase, and Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in Children,” is expected to be posted at the The Pritikin Longevity Center.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, studied 20 children, most of them about 13 years old, during a two-week nutritional program at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa, a health resort in Aventura, Fla.
The researchers found that after the two-week period of exercising and eating healthier foods, participants saw a 21 percent average decrease in their cholesterol levels. Insulin levels declined by 30 percent, and C-reactive proteins and oxidative stress, which indicate artery inflammation that can lead to artery blockages, decreased by 41 percent and 90 percent, respectively.