USDA study shows plant Sterols lower cholesterol
Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service placed 53 men
and women who were already on a low-fat diet on 2.2 grams of plant Sterol Esters
a day split into two servings. The Agricultural Research Service Administrator
Floyd P. Horn said cholesterol reductions nearly doubled by adding the Sterols
to the low-fat diet.
The 53 volunteer subjects in the study ate all of their meals at the research
center for six weeks. The first three weeks was a low fat, controlled diet,
and for the second three weeks the Sterol Esters were added to the diet. On
diet alone total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol dropped 7.3 and 8.4% respectively.
When the Sterol Esters were added the total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol
dropped 14.1 and 18.2 percent, the figure for LDL is of course better than double,
and for total cholesterol the percentage dropped nearly double. However, in
5 of the subjects (that’s about 10% of participants) the low fat diet
had no effect and the cholesterol did not drop until they were placed on Sterol
Esters. The study information is available on the US Department of Agricultures
Plant Phytosterols and Stanols decrease LDL-cholesterol even in the
family type of high cholesterol according to meta-analysis
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.
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
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
Center for Disease Control
Department of Agriculture
Department of Defense
National Cancer Institute
Department of Veterans Affairs
Plant Sterols reduce LDL-cholesterol in both diabetics and non-diabetics
Fifteen non-diabetics and 14 type 2 diabetics were placed on a controlled diet
and then given 1.8 grams a day or placebo in a randomized fashion for 21 days.
They then took a 28 day break from the supplementation and at that point were
crossed over either to placebo or plant sterols, which ever one they had not
taken in the first part of the study. The plant sterols decreased LDL-cholesterol
by 15.1% in diabetics and by 26.8% in non-diabetics. The study is published
in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Analysis of 52 studies: both Policosanol and Plant Sterols lower cholesterol
Researchers at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Purdue University,
analyzed 52 similar studies that included 4,596 individuals to compare the effectiveness
and safety of both Policosanol and plant sterols. The studies ran between 1967
to 2003. Plant sterols reduced LDL-cholesterol by 11% in 23 eligible studies.
Policosanol reduced LDL-cholesterol by 24% in 29 eligible studies. Policosanol
also lowered triglycerides and raised beneficial HDL. All nutrients tested were
both extremely safe and very effective for lowering cholesterol. The study is
published in the February 2005 issue of the journal Pharmacotherapy.
Low Saturated Fat Diet with Soy Foods and Sterols As Good as Same
Diet with Statin Drug
34 patients with high cholesterol were placed on three different 1-month treatments
for cholesterol in random order. They ate a very low saturated fat diet, or
the same diet with a statin drug (lovastatin 20mg a day), or the same diet with
the addition of the following - soy foods, almonds, fiber (oats, barley, Psyllium),
the vegetables okra and eggplant, and high concentrations of plant sterols.
Fasting blood samples were taken right before the start of the diet, at two
weeks, and at four weeks.
Results: On the diet alone the LDL-cholesterol dropped 8.5%, on the diet plus
statin drug it dropped 33.3%, and on the diet plus soy-sterol-fiber it dropped
29.6% on average. However 26% of the patients achieved their lowest LDL on the
soy-sterol-fiber plus diet and not on the statin plus diet. The diet with soy
and sterols wasn't significantly different from statins in its ability to lower
LDL-cholesterol. This is the first study to compare diet with statin vs. diet
with soy-sterols-fiber nose to nose. The study is published in the February
2005 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Policosanol Improves the Cholesterol and Raises the HDL of Older People
with High Blood Pressure
Policosanol is a cholesterol lowering nutrient that is safe and well tolerated
even in people who use many different prescription drugs. In fact, Policosanol
lacks significant adverse effects including a lack of drug to drug interactions.
205 older patients with high cholesterol who were taking Beta-Blocking drugs
for high blood pressure were randomly placed on either Policosanol at 5mg a
day for 3 years or placebo. After one year Policosanol significantly reduced
LDL-cholesterol by about 21%, lowered total cholesterol by over 19% and decreased
triglycerides by almost 26% versus placebo. HDL-cholesterol was improved by
4.1% versus placebo. At the end of three years Policosanol had decreased LDL-cholesterol
by over 34%, decreased total cholesterol by over 23%, decreased triglycerides
by over 21%, and improved HDL by over 12%.
Policosanol seemed to decrease the risk of suffering a serious vascular event.
Only 3% of the Policosanol patients had a serious event while 14% of the placebo
group had a serious event. The blood pressure of patients on Policosanol and
Beta-Blockers had improved compared to the blood pressure of patients on Beta-Blockers
and placebo. The study appears in the November-December 2004 issue of the International
Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research.