Monday, July 20, 2009

Plant Sterols and Cholesterol: Divide the dose?

Plant Sterols: Multiple Divided Doses More Effective at Reducing Cholesterol than a Single Large Dose



"Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans," AbuMweis SS, Vanstone CA, et al, Eur J Clin Nutr, 2009; 63(6): 747-55. (Address: PJH Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba, 196 Innovation Drive, Smartpark, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6C5, Canada. E-mail: ).
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, 3-phase (6 days/phase), crossover, supervised feeding trial involving 19 subjects, consumption of plant sterols given in smaller doses 3 times per day was found to be more effective at reducing cholesterol than a single large dose. Subjects participated in 3 phases: 1) control margarine with each meal; 2) 1.8 g/d plant sterols in margarine with breakfast, control margarine with lunch and dinner; 3) 1.8 g/d plant sterols divided into thirds and consumed with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Results found a reduction in LDL cholesterol (0.21 mmol/l lower) and the highest cholesterol fractional synthesis after the small frequent dose phase. As compared to the control group, cholesterol absorption efficiency decreased by 36% in the small frequent dose phase and by 39% after the single larger dose phase. The authors conclude, "Present data indicate that to obtain optimal cholesterol-lowering impact, plant sterols should be consumed as smaller doses given more often, rather than one large dose."

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