Plant Sterols May Lower Triglycerides
Plant sterols have previously been shown to lower cholesterol levels and now a new study suggests that they might also reduce triglyceride levels. This means that plant sterols may be able to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by improving two of the risk factors for CHD.
The study was conducted by researchers at Unilever R&D and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. It was published online ahead of print on January 12, 2012 in the European Journal of Nutrition.
The researchers examined data from 12 randomized controlled trials that included 935 participants, all of whom had high cholesterol. They found that, with a range of 1.6 grams to 2.5 grams per day of sterol consumption, triglyceride levels were reduced by 6%.
Plant sterols have been previously 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 the best way to protect your heart against CHD, but if you think you're not meeting your goals, consider adding a daily supplement to your routine.