Upcoming Issue Highlights

Study: Combination Plant Sterols and Fish Oil Lowers Cholesterol

New research demonstrates that the consumption of a combination of low dose omega-3 and plant sterols can effectively reduce both LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels in men and women with high cholesterol levels.

Published in the Journal of Nutrition, the findings come from research groups out of the Unilever Research and Development Vlaardingen and Quadt Consultancy BV (Netherlands) and Food Files (Sweden).

Plant sterols

Plant sterols found in fruits and vegetables

Plant sterols are known to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) whereas high intakes of the omega-3 fish fatty acids EPA and DHA are known to lower triglycerides, reported Nutrition Insight, noting the consumption of a combination of plant sterols and EPA+DHA could therefore address these two blood lipid risk factors simultaneously.

Rouyanne Ras, first author of the article, said “the findings from this study indicate that the use of low-fat spreads enriched with both plant sterols and fish oil may offer an interesting opportunity for a combined blood lipid benefit that would fit in diet and lifestyle changes for improving blood lipid profiles.”

High circulating levels of triglycerides and LDL-C – the so-called “bad” cholesterol – have both been linked with greater risk for heart disease and strokes, and although these associations do not necessarily indicate that these factors cause cardiovascular disease, people with elevated cholesterol should try to do what they can to reduce these blood lipids, according to Nutrition Insight.

The scientists concluded “the use of low-fat spreads enriched with both plant sterols and fish oil may thus offer an interesting opportunity for a combined blood lipid benefit that would fit in diet and lifestyle changes for improving blood lipid profiles.”

For more information, visit www.nutritioninsight.com.