A new report points to plant sterols as an economical means of lowering cholesterol, reducing cardiovascular events in the elderly as well as improving their quality of life. Daily consumption of plant sterols was found to reduce the number of cardiovascular events (CVE) per 10,000 people by 69 in men and 40 in women over a 20 year period. These numbers include 10 men per 10,000 people and 7 women per 10,000 people who are prevented from having a CVE.
The results above assume at least 50% of the participants complied with daily supplementation of 3 grams/day of plant sterols. This intake of plant sterols is sufficient to support a 12% reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) according to a previous meta-analysis of 129 studies.
Currently Statin drugs in conjunction with a diet low in fat and sugar and high in oily fish, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, is the typical treatment protocol for individuals with high cholesterol. The European Commission has actually approved health claims for cholesterol lowering with sterol-enriched foods.
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