The National Cholesterol Education program Adult Treatment Panel III reports that plant sterols are part of the maximal dietary therapy for reducing cholesterol - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center authorities are wondering why physicians aren't using this information

September 12, 2005

Use of plant sterols and also stanols should be a key element of maximal therapy for reducing total and LDL-cholesterol. This principle was recognized by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) and has been amply confirmed by human studies. Since the introduction of statin drugs, dietary therapy for reducing LDL cholesterol levels has received less attention. The time has come to reassert the importance of maximal dietary therapy for the treatment of elevated LDL-cholesterol and for lifetime prevention of coronary heart disease. This strong policy statement is from scientists at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and is published in the July 2005 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology. Note; The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health launched the NCEP initially in late 1985. It is continuously updated. The goal of this program is to reduce illness and death from coronary heart disease by reducing high blood cholesterol in Americans.

Just some of the prestigious members of the NCEP include:

American Academy of Family physicians
American College of Cardiology
American College of Nutrition
American Diabetes Association
American heart Association
American Medical Association
American Nurses Association
American Osteopathic Association
American Red Cross
Association of Black Cardiologists
Department of Agriculture
Department of Defense
National Cancer Institute
Department of Veterans Affairs

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Do not just depend on medication to lower your cholesterol, focus on diet and nutrition and include plant sterol containing foods or plant sterol containing supplements as part of your daily healthy lifestyle.

More evidence that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA may help prevent and fight Alzheimer's disease

In the brain of someone with Alzheimer's disease there are tangles of twisted fibers and clumps of proteins along with massive levels of free radical production and also signs of inflammation. These protein clumps based on beta-amyloid protein are connected to brain nerve cell death, the hallmark of this disease. This leads to personality changes, severe progressive memory loss and eventually death.

DHA is an omega-3 fat found in ocean going fish and seafood. Researchers at Louisiana State University's Neuroscience center of Excellence found that DHA helped brain cells in two ways:

1) Inhibiting the production of beta-amyloid proteins, the protein found in Alzheimer's brain plaques

2) Boosting the production of a protein known as NPD1. This protein protects brain cells and helps them stay alive.

The study is published in the September 8th, 2005 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: for more information on DHA and Alzheimer's disease see our radio studies for March 24th, 2005.