What do plant sterols do?
Plant stanols and sterols, which resemble cholesterol in structure, reduce cholesterol absorption in the gut, leading to increased excretion. Consequently, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (the harmful type) in the blood decrease.
Several high-quality studies support these findings. Elevated cholesterol levels raise the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. While stanols and sterols effectively lower cholesterol, more research is needed to establish their impact on heart problems and strokes.
Most doctors recommend maintaining total cholesterol levels below 5mmol/L and LDL-cholesterol levels below 3mmol/L for good health. Individuals at high risk or with existing coronary heart disease may be advised to further reduce their cholesterol levels.
How much plant sterols do I need?
Dietary intake of plant stanols and sterols is a natural component in most diets, providing approximately 300mg per day. Vegetarian diets tend to contain double this amount. While managing your cholesterol, you don’t necessarily have to rely on plant stanols or sterols alone. There are simpler and more cost-effective adjustments you can make to your lifestyle that can have a positive impact. Incorporating regular exercise and adopting a diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, pulses, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy, fish, nuts, and soy foods, while replacing butter and lard with vegetable, nut, and seed oils, can make a significant difference.
Nevertheless, individuals at a higher risk of heart disease, especially those with elevated blood cholesterol levels, may find it beneficial to include foods fortified with plant stanols and sterols in their diet. If you decide to incorporate a plant sterol product into your routine alongside the aforementioned lifestyle changes, it is important to consume it daily, preferably with meals, and in the recommended amount.
Intake of 1.5-2.4g per day can lower cholesterol by 7-10%, while an intake of 2.5-3.0g per day can lower cholesterol by 10-12.5% in two to three weeks.
Chemists refer to it as a “plant sterol ester” found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It is utilized for medicinal purposes.
Plant Sterol is used for heart disease and high cholesterol.
It is also used for boosting the immune system and for preventing colon cancer, as well as for gallstones, the common cold and flu (influenza), HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, psoriasis, allergies, cervical cancer, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), asthma, hair loss, bronchitis, migraine headache, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Some men use Plant Sterol for enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
Some women use it for symptoms of menopause.
It is also used for enhancing sexual activity.
Marathon runners sometimes use Plant Sterol to reduce pain and swelling after a run.
In foods, Plant Sterol is added to some margarines (Take Control, for example) that are designed for use as part of a cholesterol-lowering diet and for preventing heart disease. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to claim that foods containing plant sterol esters such as beta-sitosterol are for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). This rule is based on the FDA’s conclusion that plant sterol esters may reduce the risk of CHD by lowering blood cholesterol levels.