This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, fatty liver
Treatments american heart association diet, reduced fat vegan diet
Phase phase 0
Sponsor The Cleveland Clinic
Start date March 2013
End date May 2014
Trial size 60 participants
Trial identifier NCT01817491, 12-1298


The purpose of this study is to investigate the short-term effects of a reduced fat plant-based diet on biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk. This plant-based diet consists of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and little amounts of nuts and seeds, with no limitations on the amount of food intake. Animal products are not allowed. The results of the plant-based diet will be compared with the diet recommended by American Heart Association. This diet also emphasizes fruits and vegetables, but allows healthy fats, low-fat meats, fish and low-fat dairy in moderation. The results of the study might be useful in understanding whether or not plant-based diets are protective against cardiovascular disease.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose prevention
(Active Comparator)
Plant based diet with as few added oils and fats as possible.
reduced fat vegan diet
(Active Comparator)
Diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables and whole grains but also low fat dairy, low fat meat and fish.
american heart association diet

Primary Outcomes

Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk
time frame: 4 weeks

Secondary Outcomes

Anthropometric measurements
time frame: 4 weeks

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 9 years up to 18 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Children ages 9-18 - BMI > 95th percentile - Hypercholesterolemia (>169 mg/dl) Exclusion Criteria: - Pregnant women - Patients already on vegetarian diets

Additional Information

Official title Low Fat Vegan Diet or American Heart Association Diet, Impact on Biomarkers of Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Risk in Obese Hypercholesterolemic Children/Adolescents: A Four Week Randomized Trial
Principal investigator Michael Macknin, MD
Description Scientific Question: In obese, hypercholesterolemic (>169 mg/dl) 9-18 year olds and one of their parents are biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk significantly reduced after a randomized 4 week trial of a reduced fat, vegan diet, or the American Heart Association (AHA) diet (which also encourages fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but permits low fat meat and dairy, and fish)? Rationale: "Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in North Americans, but manifest disease in childhood and adolescence is rare. By contrast, risk factors and risk behaviors that accelerate the development of atherosclerosis begin in childhood, and there is increasing evidence that risk reduction delays progression toward clinical disease". Myeloperoxidase is an early biomarker of inflammation, oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk in prepubertal obese children and is over expressed in children with hypercholesterolemia. Trimethylamine N-oxide, global arginine bioavailability ratio, arginine methylation index, paraoxonase 1 gene, and F2-isoprostane are all also associated with future major adverse cardiovascular events. Studies have suggested that a low-fat, vegan diet is effective in promoting weight loss, lowering body mass index, improving lipoprotein profiles, insulin sensitivity and in preventing cardiovascular disease in overweight individuals. Vegetarian diets have been shown to not only prevent but also to reverse heart disease in adults. Dietary habits (e.g. vegan/vegetarian versus omnivore/carnivore) are associated with significant alterations in intestinal microbiota composition and function. The diet-microbe interaction may play a significant role in the cardiovascular protective effects of a vegan/vegetarian diet. One small report of 15 adults on a reduced fat, vegan "Engine 2 Diet" for four weeks reported decreases in mean total cholesterol from 197 mg/dl to 135 mg/dl and mean LDL cholesterol falling from 124 mg/dl to 74 mg/dl. Innovation: This is the first randomized trial comparing a low fat vegan diet to the standard AHA diet. If one diet proves superior in this brief pilot study, future larger long term studies will be needed to clearly define the health implications of our results. Methods: Obese hypercholesterolemic children ages 9-18 will be identified by reviewing medical records and recruited initially by letters. Child, parent/guardian pairs will be randomly assigned to either the reduced fat vegan diet or the AHA diet. During the 4-week study, participants will be asked to attend a group teaching and cooking session once a week on Saturday to learn about their assigned diets. The participants will also be requested to record their diet history on 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day before and again during the 4 weeks of the study.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in September 2013.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by The Cleveland Clinic.