Sterols in capsules effective for cholesterol cuts

Regular use of plant sterol esters in capsules improved blood lipid levels and may reduce heart disease risk, says a new study said to be the first to examine the efficacy of sterols in capsules in humans. In just three weeks after taking the plant sterol esters capsules, participants saw their LDL cholesterol drop by a significant 4 per cent which could translate to a 5 to 10 per cent reduction in cardiovascular risk in the first 5 years, and by 10 per cent over a life time. High cholesterol levels, hypercholesterolaemia, have a long association with many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, the cause of almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy an estimated ?169bn ($202bn) per year. Writing in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, lead author Robert Acuff from the East Tennessee State University reports that supplementation with the plant sterol esters capsules (1.3 grams of plant sterol esters, equivalent to 0.8 grams of free sterol) led to a reduction in LDL-cholesterol levels by seven per cent after three weeks of supplementation, and four per cent after four weeks. The dose used in the study corresponded to the minimum amount of sterol esters the U.S. FDA requires to satisfy the health claim allowed on foods and dietary supplements containing these heart health ingredients. The participants maintained a stable diet pattern throughout the study, which included an initial four-week placebo phase, two-week washout, and the final four-week plant sterol esters intervention phase. This study is the first study that confirmed regular use of plant sterol ester capsules is an effective strategy in improving lipid profiles, especially lipoprotein ratios, among hypercholesterolemic subjects in a free-living setting without dietary intervention. Further studies are needed to confirm the long term benefit of plant sterol ester capsules on blood cholesterol in populations with varying baseline cholesterol levels.
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Source: NutraIngredients