Posted by Dr. Jamie McManus in Shaklee Health Wise on Oct 29, 2014
Mention the word phytosterols in any conversation and chances are people will respond to you with a quizzical look and a question, “phyto-whats?” I’m a bit surprised by this lack of knowledge of phytosterols because a diet rich in phytosterols may be one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Phytosterols are so effective at reducing the risk for heart disease that the National Cholesterol Education Program recommends consuming 2 grams a day and the hard-to-impress FDA approves label claims for products containing phytosterols.
Phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, are a group of natural compounds found in most plants. We don’t actually know how many plant sterols there are (certainly over 40), but the most important ones appear to be: beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol. The plant sterols look very similar to cholesterol but actually block cholesterol absorption from the digestive tract. Having elevated blood cholesterol levels, as you know, is bad for you. Research shows that consuming phytosterols can lower your LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.
A new report released by the Council for Responsible Nutrition suggests that not only can phytosterols reduce heart disease, but they may also reduce expenditures associated with heart disease. The report suggests that if all adults over the age of 55 consumed the recommended 2 grams of phytosterols a day, it would reduce health care expenditures by over 11 percent (or $34 billion in avoided expenditures).
Anyone who knows me knows that I strongly encourage everyone to include as many veggies in their diet as possible. Make sure to include as many phytosterol-rich foods as you can (whole grains, beans, vegetables, and nuts).
If you have high cholesterol, and you have made the recommended dietary changes, and still need to lower cholesterol then I urge you to consider supplementing with a phytosterol supplement. It does take at least two weeks of supplementing to see a change, so don’t be in a rush to recheck your cholesterol levels. I suggest having your doctor recheck your lipids about 6 weeks after starting the phytosterol supplement.
Cholesterol Reduction Complex is a proprietary formula with clinically proven ingredients that may reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to lower cholesterol. It is made with a powerful blend of sterols and stanols, which are found naturally in plants, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Learn more.
† Products providing 800 mg of plant sterols and stanols daily, consumed with two different meals as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol Reduction Complex provides 1,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols per serving, and 2,000 mg daily when used as directed.
Shaklee's scientifically supported SmartHeart™ Cholesterol Regimen is designed to help reduce your risk of heart disease by supporting optimal cardiovascular health whille reducing cholesterol.