Your Health And Food Friend
Nattokinase

Plant Sterols And Starols

Microwave Oven Cooking


According to the experts — many of them, anyway — natto is the perfect food for curing what ails most Americans. There’s a large body (pun!) of evidence suggesting that eating natto on a daily basis significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure (all exacerbated or caused by excessive blood-clotting), as well as arthritis and rheumatism (caused by stiff or swollen internal tissues). It is bold to claim that natto can prevent so many ailments, and unless you dig a little deeper, it probably seems no more reliable than the claims made for any other health-food or supplement. But I think natto is different. The evidence is there, and it’s worth paying attention to, if only for a few minutes…

The specific details of how natto does its magic are still being sorted out in scientific inquiries, but it appears pretty safe for us to think of it as a natural dispersing agent inside your body; when things (especially certain proteins) start getting together and creating problematic little bundles of blood or tissue, natto helps them to relax and break apart again.

This property of natto appears to be due to the  presence of a unique enzyme, called nattokinase, which was first identified by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi in 1980. He was studying the thrombus-destroying power of a variety of conventional medicines at Chicago University, and put some natto in the Petri dish on a whim. (“Thrombus” is one of many technical names for a blood clot that blocks arterial flow, causing heart attacks, etc.). Anyway, the thrombus was completely dissolved with 18 hours, which was far less time than what was needed for any of the other medicines he was working with. So he was impressed. He went on to isolate nattokinase as the active agent in natto, and has since examined its significance extensively; he remains a pioneer in the field. (People in the industry are fond of referring to him as “Dr. Natto”). His studies are widely available in English online, but here’s a decent place to start if you’re interested in a little more depth: http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Doi=205051&Scope=archiv.

I’m not a biologist, chemist, or otherwise certified professional, but I have read a bit of what those folks have published, and it appears that there is one overwhelming component in the body’s formation of both blood clots and stiff internal tissues. It’s name is fibrin. Fibrin is a naturally occurring substance, created when two proteins — fibrinogen and thrombin — interact.

 Fibrin is essential to many bodily functions, but when you’ve got too much of it, bad things start to happen. And (you guessed it) most Americans have too much of it. Nattokinase is an extremely effective fibrin-destroyer (fibrinolytic agent, its called), which is a large part of what makes it so good for you — think of the dissolving thrombus in the Petri dish — but before we can appreciate this point fully we should probably take a closer look at fibrin and its constituent components.

 Here’s an interesting little story about fibrinogen: back in 1929, a few curious men working at the Rockefeller Institute removed the livers from a number of rabbits and observed that these (in technical terms, hepatectomized) bunnies ceased to produce fibrinogen. Wow! From that time on, the liver was acknowledged as the body’s sole source of fibrinogen. Though it’s unclear why exactly this was considered important at the time, subsequent studies have revealed fibrinogen to be an important ingredient in a wide spectrum of bodily functions…and have supported the supposition that your liver is its only source.

But fibrinogen still isn’t too exciting all by itself; once it comes into contact with thrombin, however, some interesting things start to happen.  As far as I can tell, thrombin is pretty amazing stuff. It is basically an all-purpose glue for proteins, which – I’m sure you’ll be interested to know – has led to some sensational commercial applications.

Most notably, a Nebraska-based company has isolated thrombin from the blood of pigs and cows, named it Fibrimex, and figured out how to use it for creating all kinds of hybrid meat products like bacon-shrimp and bacon-salmon. They call the process “cold bonding,” and it’s basically a synthetic version of what goes on inside your body when fibrinogen and thrombin interact.  (Rarely do we get such instructive visual analogues to internal biochemical processes). Fibrimex is billed as “a tool in innovative protein design [that] will change the way you think about meat.” Apparently they don’t realize how scary that sounds.

Anyway, both fibrinogen and thrombin are produced by the liver (via a complex cascade of reactions), and together they are vital to a number of your body’s daily functions. Namely, they help your blood to clot and various of your tissues to remain intact. Obviously, if your blood doesn’t clot you’ll bleed to death from even the tiniest of scratches, and if your tissues don’t remain intact neither will you. So fibrinogen + thrombin (= fibrin) is great. But again, only in the right amount.

When your liver isn’t happy (from processing too many toxins or fats, for example), it can start producing way more fibrin than you need, and you can start getting clots inside your arteries and/or stiff tissues, leading to heart attack and/or stroke, arthritis and/or rheumatism. Not fun. But depressingly common.

So now maybe we have a little better understanding of the importance of natto in our daily meals? Nattokinase — the key component in natto — is the strongest fibrinolytic enzyme out there. In acute situations (like right after a heart-attack), nattokinase seems to break fibrin apart at least as effectively as the enzymes used in any of the drugs currently prescribed by western doctors. (I’d probably get shot for writing that natto actually works better than those drugs — all I’m saying is that the enzyme nattokinase works more effectively than the enzymes those drugs employ — urokinase, originally isolated from human urine, for example).

But, as with most medicine-food, natto seems to work best when you take it little and often — as a preventative measure. (This is true partly because natto stimulates your body’s production of other fibrinolytic agents, and doesn’t work on nattokinase alone). It seems that when you eat natto on a regular basis, the acute disasters caused by clotting and stiffening are far less likely to appear. (For more details, you might start here: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/107628002760091001).

Anyway, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare has granted nattokinase the status of a medicine, and regularly recommends that Japanese citizens eat more natto. Though we can’t expect the FDA to follow suit any time soon, I’d rather not wait around until they figure it out…in the meantime, it seems like a safe bet to eat natto a few times a week, forget about the medicines, and go on enjoying life. That’s my plan, anyway.

 

 

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Hello and welcome to Your Health And Food Friend!

 

 

This is our first page, how exciting!  A food called Nattokinase.  Looks like a superfood to me.  By the way, one of these articles talks about Nattokinase being available in 'pill form.'  After learning everything I've learned from the American/ modern way of consuming nutrition via the little old easy, available 'pill;'  I'm not of the mind that taking any food through a pill form is a wise idea.  In my household we will be using Natto in it's natural form;  the word pill, in our home is almost a dirty word.  Vitamins and minerals cannot absorb properly in most available pill form delivery systems.  I don't want to mess with nature the way it's been messed with in the last 100 years.    Will we actually begin that horrifying process again; with regard to the 'newer' foods we find, such as Natto?  Doesn't that just sound like a crime?  Your Health And Food Friend

"...So, we have ascorbic acid antioxidant pills made for pennies and sold to the public in megadoses for big bucks that do not cure scurvy or its subclinical forms now afflicting legions of Americans. It can speed up the process of clogged arteries. Cancer thrives on it, and it protects tumors. Most of it is wasted and excreted via the kidneys. And it can cause oxidative genetic damage to your DNA. It can't hurt?!..."
read more...
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Hello again!  Today I have decided to use a picture of 'tree roots' as my emblem for Your Health And Food Friend.  Tree roots feed the tree, they are the foundation which holds together the tree, the branches, the leaves; flowers, buds together...  The roots ground the tree; they feed the tree.  In my mind our food is the 'root' of our health.  Our food, feeds us, of course... but the choice and quality of the food truly determines whether or not our bodies are properly fed - properly nurished.  Therefore, roots will be my symbol for this website.  I happen to have taken a very cool picture of a very large and very old tree, this past summer - 2011; who's root system was greatly exposed.  This tree was in a national forest in southern ohio.  Near or in Old Man's Cave.  I'll get the name of the forest soon and post it here.  

 

As with Your Health And Tech Friend magazine, I'll work hard at finding very sound information for you!  So long! 

 

Your Health And Food Friend

 

Your's in good health!

To This Article...
"...Microwaving has been known to cause anemia, high cholesterol levels, high radiation levels of light-emitting bacteria, and a major decline in lymphocytes, with the body responding as if the food were an infectious agent. Studies have shown that babies have died from consistently having their bottles and/or baby food warmed in a microwave. ..."  click to read more...

 

"...The human body produces several types of enzymes for making thrombus, but only one main enzyme for breaking it down and dissolving it - plasmin. The properties of nattokinase closely resemble plasmin. According to Dr. Martin Milner, from the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, what makes nattokinase a particularly potent treatment, is that it enhances the body's natural ability to fight blood clots in several different ways..." to this article...
Do They Work?

Plant sterols: Do they work?

Foods enriched with plant sterols are showing up in Canadian grocery stores. But can they really protect your heart?

By Lindsay Borthwick
Plant sterols: Do they work?

The aisles at your local supermarket are now more crowded than ever with products that claim to improve your health. The latest ones? A new yogurt and margarine that contain compounds called plant sterols (or phytosterols), and claim they’ll lower your bad cholesterol levels. This could be quite an attractive offer for many people—more than 40 percent of Canadians have high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease. But can foods fortified with plant sterols really help? Read on to get to the heart of the matter.

What’s new about plant sterols

In May 2010, Health Canada agreed to allow foods fortified with plant sterols into Canadian supermarkets, along with the health claim that "plant sterols can help lower cholesterol." Astro BioBest probiotic yogourt with Plant Sterols and Becel pro.activ calorie-reduced margarine with plant sterols are the first plant-sterol-enriched products to hit the shelves. But Health Canada has also approved the addition of the compounds to other spreads, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and vegetable and fruit juices. Many such sterol-enriched products are already available in the United States and Europe, where regulators have allowed the compounds to be added to foods for more than five years.

How plant sterols work

Plant sterols are a group of naturally occurring molecules that closely resemble cholesterol, an essential fat used by your body to manufacture hormones and cell membranes. There are at least 250 different plant sterols in the foods we eat, every day especially vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, cereals and legumes, veggies and fruits. The compounds have become a darling of the food industry because they have therapeutic effects in humans: specifically, they lower levels of LDL (or "bad") cholesterol in the bloodstream by interfering with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine. (They have little effect on HDL or "good" cholesterol levels.) LDL cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in arteries (atherosclerosis), a major factor in heart disease and stroke.

The science behind sterols

The health benefits of plant sterols have been recognized since the 1950s, making them "one of the first items to play a significant role in the development of functional foods," says Mohammed Moghadasian, associate professor in the department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba and an expert on plant sterols. Since the mid-1990s, there have been dozens of randomized control trials looking at the effect of foods enriched with plant sterols on blood lipids, including LDL cholesterol. In one pivotal study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants with high cholesterol ate margarine fortified with plant sterols (1.8 to 2.6 grams) everyday. After one year, their LDL cholesterol levels had decreased by about 14 percent. LDL levels in the control group, which did not consume margarine with sterols, had decreased by only one percent. Moghadasian says that on average, plant sterols lower LDL cholesterol levels by about 10 percent.

Is this enough to fend off heart disease? In his own studies conducted on mice, Moghadasian has shown that plant sterols reduce atherosclerosis by as much as 50 percent, but this has yet to be proven in humans. Still, researchers estimate that a 10-percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels is enough to reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 20 percent.

Are they safe?

Evidence from the United States and Europe, where plant sterols have been added to foods for up to 10 years, shows that sterols are safe. Health Canada has set the upper limit for consumption at three grams per day for adults or one gram per day for children. However, the agency doesn’t recommend that children or pregnant or breastfeeding women consume products enriched with plant sterols—not because of safety concerns but because the effects of cholesterol-lowering foods haven’t been well studied in these groups.

There is one group for whom plant sterols are considered unsafe—people who suffer from sitosterolemia, a very rare genetic disease, must avoid foods rich in plant sterols. People with sitosterolemia absorb plant sterols into their blood, leading to high cholesterol and the development of heart disease at a relatively young age.

The best sources of plant sterols

Plant sterols in whole foods that are consumed as part of a regular diet have positive effects on cholesterol levels: A 2004 study of the effects of dietary plant sterols on LDL cholesterol showed that the more sterols consumed as food, the lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. But studies also show that we consume only about 300 mg of the compounds per day—far fewer than the two grams per day that experts say is needed to lower the risk of heart disease. (Beyond two grams per day, studies have shown little additional benefit.) Health Canada allows foods enriched with plant sterols to contain up to one gram per serving, so two servings or more may be required to get the recommended daily amount.

Who should add plant sterols to their diet?

Studies have shown that plant sterols offer the greatest benefit to people with mildly high cholesterol, Moghadasian states. There’s also good evidence that combining plant sterols with cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, and other lifestyle changes has an additive effect, reducing LDL cholesterol more than any one of these therapies alone. A study authored by David Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, looked at the effects of pairing plant sterols with other cholesterol-lowering foods. The result? Consuming foods rich in plant sterols, soluble fiber, soy protein and nuts can lower LDL cholesterol by 28 to 35 percent, a range that is similar to cholesterol-lowering drugs. So if your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, you may want to talk to him or her about adding foods fortified with plant sterols to your diet. However, if you don’t have high cholesterol, there’s no need to buy a product fortified with plant sterols, Moghadasian says. Instead, keep cholesterol levels in check by increasing your exercise, monitoring your weight and making simple changes to your diet, such as cutting down on saturated fats. ...

(Please click the red arrow to this full text and source)



Hello from Your Health and Food Friend: I've not heard of plant sterols or stanols before today, so this is news to me. I do know, without a doubt that any substance found naturally in food is better than something 'added to' food. Usually additions to... do not absorb as naturally found substances. And, nature put the 'supporting' ingredients into the products that contain one substance or another. Minerals depend upon other minerals to do their job. So, it is my first instinct that would caution me to read very carefully about this product, the ones 'added to' - before I would use them. I believe that naturally found ingredients are the best for us.

Your Health And Food Friend


P.S. I'm not a doctor, so please if you have a medical condition, see a medical provider. Also, click on any red arrow to find the credentials of each article's author.

Related Article...
"...The human body produces several types of enzymes for making thrombus, but only one main enzyme for breaking it down and dissolving it - plasmin. The properties of nattokinase closely resemble plasmin. According to Dr. Martin Milner, from the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, what makes nattokinase a particularly potent treatment, is that it enhances the body's natural ability to fight blood clots in several different ways..." to this article...
Do They Work?

Plant sterols: Do they work?

Foods enriched with plant sterols are showing up in Canadian grocery stores. But can they really protect your heart?

By Lindsay Borthwick
Plant sterols: Do they work?

The aisles at your local supermarket are now more crowded than ever with products that claim to improve your health. The latest ones? A new yogurt and margarine that contain compounds called plant sterols (or phytosterols), and claim they’ll lower your bad cholesterol levels. This could be quite an attractive offer for many people—more than 40 percent of Canadians have high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease. But can foods fortified with plant sterols really help? Read on to get to the heart of the matter.

What’s new about plant sterols

In May 2010, Health Canada agreed to allow foods fortified with plant sterols into Canadian supermarkets, along with the health claim that "plant sterols can help lower cholesterol." Astro BioBest probiotic yogourt with Plant Sterols and Becel pro.activ calorie-reduced margarine with plant sterols are the first plant-sterol-enriched products to hit the shelves. But Health Canada has also approved the addition of the compounds to other spreads, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and vegetable and fruit juices. Many such sterol-enriched products are already available in the United States and Europe, where regulators have allowed the compounds to be added to foods for more than five years.

How plant sterols work

Plant sterols are a group of naturally occurring molecules that closely resemble cholesterol, an essential fat used by your body to manufacture hormones and cell membranes. There are at least 250 different plant sterols in the foods we eat, every day especially vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, cereals and legumes, veggies and fruits. The compounds have become a darling of the food industry because they have therapeutic effects in humans: specifically, they lower levels of LDL (or "bad") cholesterol in the bloodstream by interfering with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine. (They have little effect on HDL or "good" cholesterol levels.) LDL cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in arteries (atherosclerosis), a major factor in heart disease and stroke.

The science behind sterols

The health benefits of plant sterols have been recognized since the 1950s, making them "one of the first items to play a significant role in the development of functional foods," says Mohammed Moghadasian, associate professor in the department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba and an expert on plant sterols. Since the mid-1990s, there have been dozens of randomized control trials looking at the effect of foods enriched with plant sterols on blood lipids, including LDL cholesterol. In one pivotal study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants with high cholesterol ate margarine fortified with plant sterols (1.8 to 2.6 grams) everyday. After one year, their LDL cholesterol levels had decreased by about 14 percent. LDL levels in the control group, which did not consume margarine with sterols, had decreased by only one percent. Moghadasian says that on average, plant sterols lower LDL cholesterol levels by about 10 percent.

Is this enough to fend off heart disease? In his own studies conducted on mice, Moghadasian has shown that plant sterols reduce atherosclerosis by as much as 50 percent, but this has yet to be proven in humans. Still, researchers estimate that a 10-percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels is enough to reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 20 percent.

Are they safe?

Evidence from the United States and Europe, where plant sterols have been added to foods for up to 10 years, shows that sterols are safe. Health Canada has set the upper limit for consumption at three grams per day for adults or one gram per day for children. However, the agency doesn’t recommend that children or pregnant or breastfeeding women consume products enriched with plant sterols—not because of safety concerns but because the effects of cholesterol-lowering foods haven’t been well studied in these groups.

There is one group for whom plant sterols are considered unsafe—people who suffer from sitosterolemia, a very rare genetic disease, must avoid foods rich in plant sterols. People with sitosterolemia absorb plant sterols into their blood, leading to high cholesterol and the development of heart disease at a relatively young age.

The best sources of plant sterols

Plant sterols in whole foods that are consumed as part of a regular diet have positive effects on cholesterol levels: A 2004 study of the effects of dietary plant sterols on LDL cholesterol showed that the more sterols consumed as food, the lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. But studies also show that we consume only about 300 mg of the compounds per day—far fewer than the two grams per day that experts say is needed to lower the risk of heart disease. (Beyond two grams per day, studies have shown little additional benefit.) Health Canada allows foods enriched with plant sterols to contain up to one gram per serving, so two servings or more may be required to get the recommended daily amount.

Who should add plant sterols to their diet?

Studies have shown that plant sterols offer the greatest benefit to people with mildly high cholesterol, Moghadasian states. There’s also good evidence that combining plant sterols with cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, and other lifestyle changes has an additive effect, reducing LDL cholesterol more than any one of these therapies alone. A study authored by David Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, looked at the effects of pairing plant sterols with other cholesterol-lowering foods. The result? Consuming foods rich in plant sterols, soluble fiber, soy protein and nuts can lower LDL cholesterol by 28 to 35 percent, a range that is similar to cholesterol-lowering drugs. So if your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, you may want to talk to him or her about adding foods fortified with plant sterols to your diet. However, if you don’t have high cholesterol, there’s no need to buy a product fortified with plant sterols, Moghadasian says. Instead, keep cholesterol levels in check by increasing your exercise, monitoring your weight and making simple changes to your diet, such as cutting down on saturated fats. ...

(Please click the red arrow to this full text and source)



Hello from Your Health and Food Friend: I've not heard of plant sterols or stanols before today, so this is news to me. I do know, without a doubt that any substance found naturally in food is better than something 'added to' food. Usually additions to... do not absorb as naturally found substances. And, nature put the 'supporting' ingredients into the products that contain one substance or another. Minerals depend upon other minerals to do their job. So, it is my first instinct that would caution me to read very carefully about this product, the ones 'added to' - before I would use them. I believe that naturally found ingredients are the best for us.

Your Health And Food Friend


P.S. I'm not a doctor, so please if you have a medical condition, see a medical provider. Also, click on any red arrow to find the credentials of each article's author.

Related Article...
"...The human body produces several types of enzymes for making thrombus, but only one main enzyme for breaking it down and dissolving it - plasmin. The properties of nattokinase closely resemble plasmin. According to Dr. Martin Milner, from the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, what makes nattokinase a particularly potent treatment, is that it enhances the body's natural ability to fight blood clots in several different ways..." to this article...
Do They Work?

Plant sterols: Do they work?

Foods enriched with plant sterols are showing up in Canadian grocery stores. But can they really protect your heart?

By Lindsay Borthwick
Plant sterols: Do they work?

The aisles at your local supermarket are now more crowded than ever with products that claim to improve your health. The latest ones? A new yogurt and margarine that contain compounds called plant sterols (or phytosterols), and claim they’ll lower your bad cholesterol levels. This could be quite an attractive offer for many people—more than 40 percent of Canadians have high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease. But can foods fortified with plant sterols really help? Read on to get to the heart of the matter.

What’s new about plant sterols

In May 2010, Health Canada agreed to allow foods fortified with plant sterols into Canadian supermarkets, along with the health claim that "plant sterols can help lower cholesterol." Astro BioBest probiotic yogourt with Plant Sterols and Becel pro.activ calorie-reduced margarine with plant sterols are the first plant-sterol-enriched products to hit the shelves. But Health Canada has also approved the addition of the compounds to other spreads, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and vegetable and fruit juices. Many such sterol-enriched products are already available in the United States and Europe, where regulators have allowed the compounds to be added to foods for more than five years.

How plant sterols work

Plant sterols are a group of naturally occurring molecules that closely resemble cholesterol, an essential fat used by your body to manufacture hormones and cell membranes. There are at least 250 different plant sterols in the foods we eat, every day especially vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, cereals and legumes, veggies and fruits. The compounds have become a darling of the food industry because they have therapeutic effects in humans: specifically, they lower levels of LDL (or "bad") cholesterol in the bloodstream by interfering with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine. (They have little effect on HDL or "good" cholesterol levels.) LDL cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in arteries (atherosclerosis), a major factor in heart disease and stroke.

The science behind sterols

The health benefits of plant sterols have been recognized since the 1950s, making them "one of the first items to play a significant role in the development of functional foods," says Mohammed Moghadasian, associate professor in the department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba and an expert on plant sterols. Since the mid-1990s, there have been dozens of randomized control trials looking at the effect of foods enriched with plant sterols on blood lipids, including LDL cholesterol. In one pivotal study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants with high cholesterol ate margarine fortified with plant sterols (1.8 to 2.6 grams) everyday. After one year, their LDL cholesterol levels had decreased by about 14 percent. LDL levels in the control group, which did not consume margarine with sterols, had decreased by only one percent. Moghadasian says that on average, plant sterols lower LDL cholesterol levels by about 10 percent.

Is this enough to fend off heart disease? In his own studies conducted on mice, Moghadasian has shown that plant sterols reduce atherosclerosis by as much as 50 percent, but this has yet to be proven in humans. Still, researchers estimate that a 10-percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels is enough to reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 20 percent.

Are they safe?

Evidence from the United States and Europe, where plant sterols have been added to foods for up to 10 years, shows that sterols are safe. Health Canada has set the upper limit for consumption at three grams per day for adults or one gram per day for children. However, the agency doesn’t recommend that children or pregnant or breastfeeding women consume products enriched with plant sterols—not because of safety concerns but because the effects of cholesterol-lowering foods haven’t been well studied in these groups.

There is one group for whom plant sterols are considered unsafe—people who suffer from sitosterolemia, a very rare genetic disease, must avoid foods rich in plant sterols. People with sitosterolemia absorb plant sterols into their blood, leading to high cholesterol and the development of heart disease at a relatively young age.

The best sources of plant sterols

Plant sterols in whole foods that are consumed as part of a regular diet have positive effects on cholesterol levels: A 2004 study of the effects of dietary plant sterols on LDL cholesterol showed that the more sterols consumed as food, the lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. But studies also show that we consume only about 300 mg of the compounds per day—far fewer than the two grams per day that experts say is needed to lower the risk of heart disease. (Beyond two grams per day, studies have shown little additional benefit.) Health Canada allows foods enriched with plant sterols to contain up to one gram per serving, so two servings or more may be required to get the recommended daily amount.

Who should add plant sterols to their diet?

Studies have shown that plant sterols offer the greatest benefit to people with mildly high cholesterol, Moghadasian states. There’s also good evidence that combining plant sterols with cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, and other lifestyle changes has an additive effect, reducing LDL cholesterol more than any one of these therapies alone. A study authored by David Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, looked at the effects of pairing plant sterols with other cholesterol-lowering foods. The result? Consuming foods rich in plant sterols, soluble fiber, soy protein and nuts can lower LDL cholesterol by 28 to 35 percent, a range that is similar to cholesterol-lowering drugs. So if your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, you may want to talk to him or her about adding foods fortified with plant sterols to your diet. However, if you don’t have high cholesterol, there’s no need to buy a product fortified with plant sterols, Moghadasian says. Instead, keep cholesterol levels in check by increasing your exercise, monitoring your weight and making simple changes to your diet, such as cutting down on saturated fats. ...

(Please click the red arrow to this full text and source)



Hello from Your Health and Food Friend: I've not heard of plant sterols or stanols before today, so this is news to me. I do know, without a doubt that any substance found naturally in food is better than something 'added to' food. Usually additions to... do not absorb as naturally found substances. And, nature put the 'supporting' ingredients into the products that contain one substance or another. Minerals depend upon other minerals to do their job. So, it is my first instinct that would caution me to read very carefully about this product, the ones 'added to' - before I would use them. I believe that naturally found ingredients are the best for us.

Your Health And Food Friend


P.S. I'm not a doctor, so please if you have a medical condition, see a medical provider. Also, click on any red arrow to find the credentials of each article's author.

Related Article...
"...When you eat food that contains dietary cholesterol (which is found in animal products like meat, eggs and dairy), your intestinal tract absorbs that cholesterol and puts it into the bloodstream. Plant sterols and plant stanols are chemically similar to dietary cholesterol found in animal products. So when the sterols and stanols travel through your digestive tract, they get in the way of dietary cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, less total cholesterol is absorbed by your body when plant sterols and stanols are present. The cholesterol that is not absorbed leaves the body as waste. With regular use, plant sterols and plant stanols can result in a reduction in blood cholesterol levels...."  please click to read more...