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Omega-3s Combined With Sterols May Help Reduce Cholesterol, Trigylcerides

According to the WHO, approximately 40% of adults over the age of 25 worldwide have high triglyceride concentrations. A recent study suggests that taking low dose omega-3s in combination with plant sterols may reduce both cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol. 

Participants in the study included 332 adults with high cholesterol. Over the course of four weeks, they were given 2.5 grams of sterols with varying levels of omega-3s (0, 0.9, 1.3, and 1.8 grams of EPA and DHA).

In the 314 people who completed the study, the researchers noted lower triglyceride levels that ranged from 9.3% to 16.2%, compared with the control group.  The participants that received the highest level of omega-3s had the biggest reduction. Additionally, LDL cholesterol levels were lowered by 11.5% and 14.7%, when compared with the control group.  These results were also dosage dependent.

Researchers from Unilever Research and Development in the Netherlands and Food Files in Sweden conducted the study. It was published on August 13, 2014, in The Journal of Nutrition.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. For vegans like the ones in this study or for folks who just don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

Plant sterols have previously been shown to reduce cholesterol, sometimes by as much as 17%. They can be found in small quantities in fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, cereals and legumes. There are also a number of foods that are fortified with plant sterols, such as spreads, mayonnaise, orange juice and granola bars.

Eating a balanced, healthy diet is a great way to protect your heart against cardiovascular heart disease, but if you think you’re not meeting your goals, consider adding a daily supplement to your routine.


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