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Open AccessArticle

Vegetarian Diets along with Regular Exercise: Impact on High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels among Taiwanese Adults

1
Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung City 40201, Taiwan
2
Department of Public Health and Institute of Public Health, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung City 40201, Taiwan
3
Department of Physical Education, Fu-Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan
4
Research and Development Center for Physical Education, Health and Information Technology, Fu-Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan
5
Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung City 40201, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56020074
Received: 3 January 2020 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
Background and objectives: High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is important for improving risk estimates of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. We investigated the effect of omnivore and diverse vegetarian diets in connection with exercise on HDL-C. Materials and Methods: Historical data of 9588 biobank participants (4025 exercisers and 5563 non-exercisers) aged 30–70 years were categorized as omnivores (n = 8589), former vegetarians (n = 544), lacto-ovo vegetarians (n = 417), and strict vegetarians (n = 38). We used multiple linear regression for analyses. Results: HDL-C levels were higher in exercisers compared to non-exercisers. Compared with omnivores, strict vegetarians had decreased levels of HDL-C (β = −5.705; p = 0.001) followed by lacto-ovo vegetarians (β = −3.900; p < 0.001) and former vegetarians (β = −0.329; p = 0.475). The test for trend was significant (p < 0.001). After categorization by exercise modalities, the β-value was −13.984 for strict vegetarians, −4.419 for lacto-ovo vegetarians, and −1.864 for former vegetarians, respectively (p < 0.05). There was an interaction between diet and exercise (p = 0.009). Omnivores who exercised regularly had significantly higher HDL-C, whereas strict vegetarians who exercised regularly had significantly lower HDL-C. Conclusions: In summary, strict vegetarian diets in conjunction with regular exercise might not serve as healthful behaviors to be implemented in everyday life considering the negative impact on HDL-C.
Keywords: HDL-C; physical exercise; cardiovascular disease HDL-C; physical exercise; cardiovascular disease
MDPI and ACS Style

Chang, S.-L.; Lee, K.-J.; Nfor, O.N.; Chen, P.-H.; Lu, W.-Y.; Ho, C.C.; Lung, C.-C.; Chou, M.-C.; Liaw, Y.-P. Vegetarian Diets along with Regular Exercise: Impact on High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels among Taiwanese Adults. Medicina 2020, 56, 74.

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