Plant Phytosterols and Stanols decrease LDL-cholesterol even in the family type of high cholesterol according to meta-analysis

March 21, 2006

The type of high cholesterol that runs in families (familial hypercholesterolemia) is characterized by very high levels of LDL-cholesterol which contributes to an early development of coronary heart disease. These researchers have performed a systemic review of the efficacy of phytosterols and stanols in treating familial hypercholesterolemia. Four studies matched the meta-analysis inclusion criteria of being stringent, randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled. On average the phytosterols and stanols decreased total cholesterol by 7% to 11% in these subjects and decreased LDL-cholesterol by 10% to 15%. The meta-analysis is published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Studies show it is not the caffeine which helps decrease the risk of developing diabetes but probably the polyphenols.

Green Tea Polyphenols improve memory and learning in laboratory animals

These Japanese researchers evaluated the effect of long-term oral administration of Green Tea Polyphenols on memory and learning in young rats exposed to maze learning experiences. The Green Tea Polyphenols were administered in water by mouth over 26 weeks and were compared to placebo. The Green Tea Polyphenols improved learning and the rats supplemented with Green Tea Polyphenols had lower levels of free radicals in the hippocampus region of their brain - an area important for long term learning. The study is published in the April 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the journal of the American Society for Nutrition.