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Healthy Heart Reports

Stanols To Lower Cholesterol

Some margarines and other foods contain plant stanols and sterols can help lower cholesterol.

All foods from moving creatures, such as meat, chicken, fish, diary products and eggs contain cholesterol. A diet high in cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol for some people and increase risk for a heart attack. However, some people can eat a high-cholesterol diet and not have their blood levels rise because their livers just make less. No plants contain cholesterol, but they contain sterols and stanols that have structures so similar to cholesterol that they can block the absorption of cholesterol when taken with foods that contain cholesterol. Three grams of stanols per day can lower blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol by about 15 percent. Stanols from plants are even more effective when combined with drugs to lower cholesterol. So far, tests show that these plants stanols are safe.

Effects of plant sterols and stanols on lipid metabolism and cardiovascular risk. J Plat, RP Mensink. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 2001, Vol 11, Iss 1, pp 31-40 Mensink RP, Maastricht Univ, Dept Human Biol, POB 616, NL-6200 MD Maastricht, NETHERLANDS


Copyright 2001
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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