Phytosterols Supplements Fergus Falls MN
507 457 3281
Saint Paul, MN
By Kristin Bjornsen
Add plant sterols to the growing lexicon of nutritional buzzwords. Though they may sound like veggie-based performance-enhancing drugs, really the only thing they pump up is the health of your heart. These powerful cholesterol-lowering compounds, which science has known about since the 1950s, have only recently started showing up as ingredients in functional foods such as yogurt, cheese, cereal, oatmeal, orange juice, and granola bars. Analysts predict, though, that the US phytosterol market will nearly double by 2012.
A catchall term for naturally occurring plant components, the word “phytosterols” encompasses both sterols and a similar group of compounds called stanols. Because both sterols and stanols have structures similar to cholesterol, they literally block the receptors that absorb cholesterol from your gut into the bloodstream. More importantly, they also block the reabsorption of cholesterol from liver bile, which contains about five times more cholesterol than your diet delivers.
Research shows that adding just a few grams of phytosterols to your diet daily can drop your cholesterol 5 to 10 percent in as little as two weeks—a significant amount, especially if you have levels near 225. Even better, the sterols also lower bad LDL cholesterol. The research has been so convincing that in 2000 the FDA approved a heart healthy, “reduces risk for coronary heart disease” claim for foods containing 0.65 grams of plant sterol esters (or 1.7 grams of plant stanol esters) per serving. Good news considering that heart disease accounts for 50 percent of deaths in the industrialized world. What’s more, preliminary research suggests that phytosterols may also boost the immune system, particularly in HIV patients, and promote prostate health.
There is a caveat, however: Along with blocking cholesterol, phyto- sterols can also reduce blood plasma levels of carotenoids—an important family of antioxidants—by 10 to 20 percent. Fortunately, studies have found that simply eating one more serving a day of carotenoid-rich fruits or vegetables—such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, apricots, spinach, or broccoli—restores plasma carotenoids to original levels.
Foods naturally rich in phytosterols include sesame seeds, peanuts, and olive oil. But because it’s difficult to get enough phytosterols to lower your cholesterol through these foods alone (you need 1.3 grams plant sterol esters daily or 3.4 grams plant stanol esters daily), consider eating foods fortified with them. Simply look for the label “enriched with plant sterol” and the FDA heart-healthy claim to make sure you’re getting enough for your heart to know the difference.
Author: Kristin Bjornsen
Dates: 5/31/2013 - 6/1/2013
Location: Downtown - Detroit Lakes, MN
Detroit Lakes, MN
Detroit Lakes, MN
An arts & craft experience, 412 Lakes area. Street Faire at the Lakes features quality artisan and craftsman work, continuous entertainment, great food, Saturday Street Dance/Beer Garden. Recreation opportunities, downtown mall, Sugar Sand mile-long beach.