Two grams of plant sterols or plant stanols per day in functional foods can help manage cholesterol for those with moderate heart disease risk and who are taking statin drugs, the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) has said.
The EAS ‘Consensus Statement’ was published recently in Atherosclerosis journal and represents the first time claims regulation (NHCR), could provide benefits to statin users in conjunction with ‘lifestyle measures’ and could also benefit those who are statin-intolerant.
Non statin users as well as those with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) were also included among those woho could benefit from stanols and sterols.
The researchers said, «…given the increasing importance of early preventive strategies in hypercholesterolaemia, the potential for inclusion of plant sterol- or plant stanol -enriched foods in the diet of adults and children (>6 years) with FH, as an adjunct to lifestyle and pharmacotherapy, may be considered.»
«We base these recommendations on the proven ability of plant sterols/stanols to lower plasma LDL-C levels in the absence or presence of concomitant statin therapy, and equally on evidence that they reduce plaque size in atherosclerosis-prone animal models. We understand that, in the absence of CVD outcome data from randomised clinical trials, the evidence for use of plant sterols/stanols is incomplete.»
The EU health claim backs stanols and sterols to reduce blood levels of
LDL-cholesterol by an average of 10% in those with moderate cholesterol