Sterols and stanols, Lowering Cholesterol


Currently the issue of heart health seems to have become the focus of attention of many people. And one of the originators factor is cholesterol. Many health experts advise people to lose weight by exercise and eating foods high in fiber to reduce their cholesterol levels.

Even today some people have started switching to consume a wide range of supplements to lower cholesterol. However, recent research suggests that certain content in plants called sterols and stanols can help you get rid of bad cholesterol in the body.

What is Sterols and stanols?

Plant stanols and sterols are important chemical compounds contained in the cell membranes of certain plants. Sterols and stanols can be found in many fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, grains, cereals and nuts.

Sterols and stanols lower the ways Cholesterol?

If seen, sterols and stanols have a similar molecules such as cholesterol molecule. So when they (sterols and stanols) into their digestive tract to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine. Therefore, with the artery-clogging, cholesterol will be immediately removed.

Stanols and sterols proven to lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) 6 to 15 percent. The good news is that they will not affect the "good" cholesterol (high density cholesterol - HDL). With the use of sterols and stanols on a regular basis can lower blood cholesterol levels.

So where we can find the source of sterols and stanols are good?

In general, they are readily available in nature, for example in wheat, cabbage, legumes, sunflower, sesame seeds, almonds, beans, canola, corn, and olive oil.

Meanwhile, food technology enables some foods can be fortified with plant sterols and stanols. Examples are: margarine, low-fat cheeses, crackers and chips

Number required

Sterols may provide maximum benefit when you are slightly high cholesterol levels, (where total cholesterol 200-239, 130-159 LDL), and cholesterol is very high (when total cholesterol 240, LDL, 160). For such situations, it usually takes a combination of plant sterols, either two or more.

A Program of The National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III, stating that the safe consumption is 2 to 3 grams of plant sterols and stanols. If that is done every day will reduce LDL cholesterol by 6 to 15 percent.

The best

Clinical trials have compared the effectiveness of sterols and stanols in which the results do not show a significant difference too. Whether it's the effect of triglycerides or HDL cholesterol.

Stay Alert

There are some precautions you need to know before entering sterols and stanols in your diet program:

* According to the American Journal of Cardiology, the level of carotene which also serves as a building block of vitamin A decreases when people use the plant sterols.

* High Absorption sterols and stanols in the mother can cause sitosterolemia, a rare autosomal recessive disorder is inherited, which is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease at an early age.

* Pregnant and nursing women should consult a physician before using stanols and sterols in their diet. This is because the fetotoxic effects of carotenoids and the developing brain needs cholesterol.

In addition to sterols and stanols, in fact there are many other ways that can be added into your diet program. Be sure to combine supplements with proper diet and do regular exercise to get maximum results. 

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