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Herbal Supplements

How do sterols and stanols affect cholesterol levels?

A Answers (1)

  • A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Sterols and stanols are substances found in plants. They're present in small amounts in many fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, seeds and legumes. They decrease bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL)) by reducing its absorption in the intestines. The effect of plant sterols on cholesterol has been known since the 1950s, but it wasn't until the 1990s that they were marketed in food, namely margarines. Chemically, plant sterols are very similar to cholesterol. When we eat them, they prevent real cholesterol from being absorbed. Instead, cholesterol leaves the body as waste.

    It takes 2 to 3 grams of plant sterols on a daily basis to decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by 10-14%. It's no easy feat to obtain this amount of plant sterols from eating plants. That's why margarines high in plant sterols have become popular.
    1 person found this helpful.
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How do sterols and stanols affect cholesterol levels?