Plant sterol or “phytosterols” are group of chemicals naturally occurring in plants. Phytosterols are also found in small quantities in vegetable oils including corn oil, soybean oil and sea buckthorn oil.
Many scientific research studies have identified that phytosterols have excellent cholesterol lowering properties.
What do they do is to inhibit the incorporation of cholesterol molecules into micelles in gastrointestinal system and thus reduce cholesterol absorption. Regular consumption of these kind of sterols helps body to control its total cholesterol levels including bad or LDL cholesterol.
This is why you will find many products like breakfast cereals, butters, and margarines enriched with phytosterols to help in keeping cholesterol levels within normal ranges.
There are number of research studies conducted to evaluate efficacy of phytosterols in reducing the cholesterol.
To date, when phytosterols are being consummated on regular daily basis, this has been shown effective in reducing the risk of heart disease by 25% (1). Moreover, excellent results in lowering cholesterol absorption by 33% to 42% have been associated if phytosterols are being used regularly(2).
In the similar vein, another study found that phytosterols can reduce cholesterol by 10% to 15% (3).
Plant sterols are normal part of a plant’s cell membrane and are naturally found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Unfortunately, in order to enjoy their cholesterol lowering properties, you will need to take large amount of such foods because only small amounts are present in these natural foods.
You would need to eat at least 100 pounds of vegetables in order to get only 2 grams of phytosterols. This is why, having a supplement natural product with this type of sterols as its ingredient is an easy way to provide you required amount.
So how much plant sterols do you need to keep your cholesterol at healthy levels?
Well, about two servings or total 800 milligram of phytosterols per day is the desired amount in diet. You don’t need to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits or other foods to get the desired amount of phytosterols if you use a natural supplement that contains them.
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