Plant Sterols (Phytosterols)
There is a nutrient that has benefits are so impressive that the FDA now points to their potential benefits for lowering cholesterol and boosting all-around cardiovascular health! They’re called Plant Sterols. Found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals, they were first discovered back in 1922.
Plant sterols are structurally similar to the cholesterol found in meat, but with a big difference: they’re helpful to your system, not harmful. In fact, what they do is quite remarkable. Plant sterols fool your body into thinking they are harmful cholesterol. Then, they block the bad cholesterol in your diet from being absorbed into your digestive tract. As a result, they can lower the amount of dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood dramatically.
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reports that just one gram of it a day can lower your total cholesterol levels as much as 10%, and “bad” LDL levels an additional 15%. Similar results in more than 20 studies lead to recommendations by such prestigious institutions as the Mayo Clinic, University of California-Davis Medical Center and Tufts University.
Now plant sterols are finally getting the attention they deserve, thanks to a wave of exciting clinical studies conducted over the last few years. These studies, conducted by some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world, confirm plant sterols could offer new hope and renewed health to the nearly 100 million Americans with unhealthy cholesterol levels. Consider this:
- They can reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol up to 18 percent. A study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture showed that people who took plant sterols for two weeks saw LDL levels drop from ten percent to as much as 18 percent.
- They can decrease your risk of heart problems by more than 30%. Researchers at Tufts University say that not only can plant sterols lower “bad” LDL, they can also reduce your totalcholesterol by 10%.
This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to slash your risk of cholesterol problems by nearly one-third. Plus, the higher your cholesterol level, the better the results! Scientists at Washington University were astonished to find that not only did plant sterols reduce cholesterol in all study participants, those with the unhealthiest LDL levels saw an even bigger drop-a whopping 30 percent.
Plus, plant sterols are completely safe, inexpensive, and work fast. In most studies, cholesterol-lowering benefits were seen in as little as two weeks. But, there’s a catch:The FDA says, “Foods containing at least 0.65 grams per serving of plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 1.3 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” (i.e. – supplements extracts are a good idea.)
This is the reason to have plant nutrients, such as grapefruit pectin, hesperidin, garlic and green tea. These include some of the effective remedies of actually blocking the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels faster.
Even more important, the benefits of these compounds on heart health are so impressive, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration now points to their potential benefits for lowering cholesterol as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet – as well as for boosting overall heart health, too. They block the bad cholesterol in your diet from being absorbed into your digestive tract, lower LDL levels and raise HDL levels. As a result, they can lower LDL levels alone as much as 24 points.
Researchers have known about the cholesterol-supporting effects of plant sterols since the 1950s. But it was only recently when scientists developed a way to extract the sterols from plants and convert them in a more absorbable form. Scores of scientific studies showed the extraordinary benefits of plant sterols for total cholesterol control.
✓They can reduce bad cholesterol up to 18 percent: A study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture showed that people who took plant sterols for two weeks saw LDL levels drop from ten percent to as much as 18 percent.
✓They can slash your risk of cholesterol problems by nearly one third. Researchers at Tufts University say that not only can plant sterols lower bad LDL, they can also reduce your total cholesterol by 10 percent.
✓They help lower oxidized cholesterol. A recent study reported in a leading medical journal found that one gram of plant sterols – along with other cholesterol-lowering foods – help reduce the level of oxidized LDL.
✓Plus, they seem to get results for just about everyone! Scientists at Washington University were astonished to find that plant sterols reduced cholesterol in all study participants. That’s right – 100% of the study participants saw their cholesterol drop, purely with plant sterols!
Hesperidin is a nutrient that is part of a large group of chemicals called bioflavonoids. They are known for their potent anti-oxidant capabilities and the ability to neutralize free radicals within the body. Studies are now showing that many of these chemicals are having a positive effect on LD levels in the blood. Hesperidin and cholesterol studies clearly show when hesperidin intake is increased; cholesterol levels decrease. This is very good news for all of us!
Hesperidin and cholesterol are interrelated. Many recent studies, including those in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, indicate that increasing the amounts of hesperidin in the diet has a beneficial result on the cholesterol levels in the blood. Supplementing the diet with hesperidin clearly reduces the bad LDL levels in the blood stream. This holds true even when a diet high in cholesterol is in place.
Hesperidin and other bioflavonoids occur in citrus fruits. Oranges and grapefruits seem to contain the highest concentration of this nutrient. Science has long known that fresh fruit is very good for you. Until recently, the cholesterol lowering effects of consuming these products was only speculation. Scientists are currently studying in greater depth exactly how effective the cholesterol reducing chemicals such as hesperidin are. When we see the heart health advertising by many orange juice companies, we now know that they are telling the truth. Citrus juice is good for you!
So how does hesperidin lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood? Current research and review of older studies seem to indicate that hesperidin and other chemicals like it inhibit the processing of cholesterol and triglycerides inside the liver. This prevents the cholesterol from entering the blood stream in the first place.
However, the inclusion of hesperidin significantly lowered the concentration of plasma cholesterol in both the low-vitamin E group and the normal-vitamin E group compared to the hesperidin-free groups (p < 0.05). The hepatic triglyceride content was significantly lowered by the hesperidin supplement, as opposed to the plasma triglyceride content, regardless of the vitamin E level in the diet. The hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity was significantly lowered by the hesperidin supplement with both the low-vitamin E and the normal-vitamin E compared to the hesperidin-free groups (p < 0.05). The hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity was also significantly lowered with an increase in the dietary vitamin E within the hesperidin and hesperidin-free groups.
Combined with the ability to keep the structure blood vessels healthy, hesperidin and other chemicals are actually looking as if they are more effective in treating high LDL cholesterol levels than conventional drug therapy. This is due to the fact that hesperidin and other flavonoids do not cause the muscle fatigue and leg cramps associated with conventional cholesterol lowering medications and drug therapy.
Scientists are increasingly concerned about another type of bad cholesterol. It’s calledoxycholesterol – or ‘oxidized LDL’. This form of cholesterol is usually ignored but may be even more important to your health and longevity. In fact, it can cause good HDL cholesterol levels to plummet, trigger inflammation overload throughout the body, and seriously impact your heart health. Yet most natural cholesterol solutions don’t address it. Even worse…
Typical cholesterol tests don’t even check for it!
We continue to remind you that your body needs cholesterol to function normally. Cholesterol is an essential component of cell membranes. It helps the synapses in your brain fire faster, so it protects your memory. It also helps manufacture bile acids, sex hormones, and is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.
As you can see, cholesterol is important for your health. Also, while you probably heard that high levels of LDL are the main culprit behind cholesterol problems, that’s not quite accurate. You actually need a healthy ratio of both good HDL and bad LDL in order to survive and thrive.
Oxy-cholesterol occurs when free radicals in the blood oxidize the existing LDL cholesterol. As this oxidized LDL cholesterol builds up, it can seriously impact the health of your arteries. Oxycholesterol also causes good HDL cholesterol levels to plummet even further. So it affects the health of your entire cardiovascular system, too!
Oxycholesterol is usually made up of small, dense particles that can break apart and flow through your bloodstream. Research also shows it can trigger inflammation in the body – and keeping inflammation at normal levels is essential for a healthy heart, too. So the real important cholesterol number is not your overall LDL level, but your level of oxidized cholesterol.
With cholesterol supplements, there are many popular natural remedies that support healthy LDL levels, but very few target the problem of oxycholesterol. However, take heart, we do with several phytosterols nutrients, including Hesperidin!
It’s true you can lower your cholesterol levels significantly with a healthy diet and regular exercise. But sometimes, diet and exercise aren’t enough – and that’s why many people turn to cholesterol formulas.
You may have also heard about the benefits of red yeast rice for cholesterol control. While red yeast rice shows some potential for healthy cholesterol levels, it also is similar to, and has some of the dangers of statin drugs! It’s important to watch your liver enzymes if you decide to take it and take care for it depleting your CoQ10 levels.
Niacin is another popular remedy, and studies show it does a good job of lowering LDL and triglyceride levels. However, it also has some uncomfortable side effects – like skin flushing, headaches and lightheadedness. Even with non-flushing niacin, it is a problem because of the amount you have to take to be effective. It can even cause your blood pressure to become dangerously low.
A cholesterol formula should support your heart in five important ways:
- It should reduce unhealthy levels of LDL cholesterol – before it has a chance to be damaged by free radicals.
- It should help you make more HDL – the good cholesterol that keeps arteries healthy and flexible.
- It must reduce the oxy-cholesterol – that’s already in your bloodstream to support healthy blood flow and improve your overall health, too.
- It should promote a healthy ratio of good cholesterol vs. bad – while reducing total cholesterol levels.
- It should help reduce triglyceride levels. – Triglycerides are blood fats that also affect your heart health.
Take care of your heart!
Your heart pumps about 1,900 gallons of blood through nearly 100,000 miles of blood vessels in your body. End to end, it is roughly the equivalent of travelling from New York to California 24 times. So if you want your heart to last another 20, 30 or even 50 years more, you have to take care of it in the safest, most effective way possible.
That’s why we recommend a High Cholesterol Formula to people – and why I urge you to give it a try.
Its great news if you…
- Find it hard to stick to a diet and exercise program.
- Want an easy, effective way to support healthy cholesterol levels naturally.
- Tried other cholesterol supplements that didn’t deliver the results they promised.
A good High Cholesterol Formula includes plant sterols, green tea and policosanol so you can protect your heart, scrub away oxidized cholesterol, and experience healthier cholesterol and triglyceride numbers. Few formulas deliver this kind of total cholesterol support. If you have compared prices, you’ll also know that our price is very low for the ingredients included!
There are other wonderful nutrients in a High Cholesterol Formula, but people have said they like short articles. As a result, we talk about the other ingredients in other articles. We invite you to also check them out.
A-Z Index, – under “Artery Plaque Reduction”, and “Cholesterol – High Cholesterol Formula“, or:
Artery Plaque Reduction – to help dissolve and remove artery plaque.
High Cholesterol Formula – how to lower and maintain cholesterol levels.
Resources: – (are in the Green Tea and Cholesterol article. However, we include the hesperidin reference here.)
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2001 Jan;71(1):36-44. Interactive effect of hesperidin and vitamin E supplements on cholesterol metabolism in high cholesterol-fed rats. Park YB, Do KM, Bok SH, Lee MK Jeong TS, Chol MS. Department of Genetic Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, 702-701, Korea.