In their quest to lose unwanted weight, more than 5 million people have purchased copies of Stillman's book: The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet. The Stillman diet consists almost totally of protein and animal fat. The impact of this diet on serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels is unknown.
The serum lipid levels of 12 healthy volunteers were monitored while they followed the Stillman diet for 3 to 17 days (average, 7.6 days). There was a transient weight loss that averaged 3.1 kg (7 lb).
The serum cholesterol increased in every case, from an average base line of 215 mg/100 ml to 248 mg/100 ml during the diet (P<.001). There were no considerable changes in serum triglycerides.
The use of the Stillman diet with its resultant hypercholesterolemia presents potential risks, particularly to patients with overt or subclinical coronary artery disease.
(JAMA 228:54-58, 1974)