Newsletters -April 2000

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According to a new clinical review1, the risk of heart disease could be reduced by 25 % by adding plant stanols or sterols to the daily diet. Plant stanols and sterols reduce the absorption of cholesterol, thereby lowering serum cholesterol levels. Plant stanols are esterified to form plant stanol esters that can be incorporated into margarines and other foods. Dr. Malcolm Law from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and the author of the article states that just 2 g of plant stanols added to an average daily portion of margarine can reduce the risk of heart disease by effecting decrease in serum concentrations of low density lipoprotein cholesterol by an average of 0.54 mmol/L in people aged 50-59, 0.43 mmol/L in those aged 40-49, and 0.33 mmol/L in those aged 30-39.

A recent study revealed that cholesterol absorption decreased by 18% in subjects consuming soy sterol ester and by 17% when the subjects took ß-sitostanol ester, as compared to untreated controls2.

  1. BMJ 2000; 320:861-864 (25 March)
  2. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2000 Apr; 71(4):908-13

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