Does a cholesterol lowering diet have a positive effect on healthy pregnant women and their babies?

From: BMJ

Journal rating:
rating: 99%
Study Quality:
rating: 85%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 50%
rating: 25%


  • 290 healthy pregnant women


  • Investigators compared a normal Norwegian diet with a cholesterol lowering diet containing less saturated fat (<8% of total energy) and cholesterol ( ≤ 150 mg/day) but more pulses, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and fish.
  • The women, who were all non-smokers with low risk singleton pregnancies and a mean body mass index of 24, started their assigned diet at 17-20 weeks’ gestation and continued with it until delivery.


  • The diet had no effect on infants’ birth weights or their serum lipid profiles, but it did seem to reduce the risk of preterm delivery.
  • Only 1/141 (0.7%) women eating the modified diet delivered before 37 weeks’ gestation, compared with 11/149 (7.4%) women eating the control diet.
  • Gestational age at delivery was increased by 4 days on average among women on the healthy diet.


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • The authors have shown that it’s possible to modify cardiovascular risk factors in pregnant women by improving their diet. The benefits were modest, but the diet did no discernible harm.