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Research of Phytosterols

 

Phytosterols are naturally occurring plant chemicals that are structurally related to
cholesterol. Prior studies have demonstrated that consuming 1.5 to 3 grams of
plant sterols in food daily can lead to cholesterol reductions of anywhere from
eight to 17 percent. Most of these studies have added the sterols to high-fat
foods, however, which high-cholesterol patients may not want to consume
frequently.

Researchers studied 194 people with slightly high LDL cholesterol levels (between
130 and 190 milligrams per deciliter). Half of the participants were given two
servings of low-fat fermented milk daily, while the other half had 0.8 grams of
plant sterol ester added to the same type and dose of milk. After three weeks,
the group consuming the phytosterol-supplemented milk experienced a 9.5 percent
reduction in LDL cholesterol levels relative to the control group; after six
weeks, this reduction decreased to 7.8 percent relative to the control group.

In addition, participants drinking the supplemented milk also experienced
lowered concentrations of oxidized LDL relative to the control group. There was
no significant change, however, to HDL cholesterol or plasma triaglycerol
levels.

Daily consumption of 1.6 g plant sterols in low-fat fermented milk efficiently
lowers LDL
cholesterol in subjects with moderate hypercholesterolemia without
deleterious effects on biomarkers of oxidative stress, High levels of
cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol in particular, have been linked to an
increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is one of the
top killers in the United States, responsible for 30 percent of all deaths.



 






 
 

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