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A. A Low-fat Diet Doesn't Always Mean Low Cholesterol

Narrator: This is Science Today. A low or non-fat diet may not be the best way for some people to lower their cholesterol. Ronald Krauss, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says genetics may be key to how a person responds to such a diet.

Krauss: We've learned that there are genetic factors, specific genes that predispose to this response to diet and suggest that those individuals may be better off on diets that are not severely restricted in fat.

Narrator: Krauss found a third of men with a dangerous form of LDL cholesterol, called pattern B, did best on a low fat diet. Another third did not respond at all and a final third actually began developing the undesirable cholesterol.

Krauss: We don't have direct evidence that these changes in their LDL were directly harmful. They just indicate to us that these individuals are not getting the apparent benefit that we see in those who have this high risk trait and are genetically predisposed to respond favorably.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.