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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — A research study published this month in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrated the effectiveness of a sterol/stanol ester softgel capsule for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in individuals with high cholesterol levels.
"This is a significant contribution to our understanding of an esterified plant sterol and stanol based dietary supplements' role in the reduction of cholesterol levels," stated Kevin Maki of Biofortis, the clinical research arm of Merieux NutriSciences in Chicago. "Our results show that a softgel capsule can be an effective and convenient way to provide plant sterol/stanol esters in a non-food matrix."
Throughout this study, all subjects followed a heart healthy (National Cholesterol Education Program) diet. In a crossover fashion, all subjects received a sterol/stanol softgel for six weeks and a placebo for six weeks, with the order of treatments randomly assigned. After taking the sterol/stanol softgels for six weeks, reductions were significant versus the placebo period for LDL cholesterol (down 4.3%), non-HDL cholesterol (down 4.1%) and total cholesterol (down 3.5%).
Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made brand dietary supplements, provided the sterol/stanol esters used in this study in the form of its CholestOff softgel dietary supplement. These study results reinforce the findings of earlier similar research and provide reproducible clinical data that healthcare professionals may find useful in making lifestyle recommendations for their patients, the company stated.
The softgel supplement in this study provided 1.8 g of esterified plant sterols and stanols in two softgels taken twice daily with meals. This dosage is within the range for which positive changes in cholesterol levels in individuals with high cholesterol have been observed in previous studies. Many individuals consuming a typical Western Diet consume as little as 200 mg of plant sterols and stanols each day, a level unlikely to change blood cholesterol levels.
"When Nature Made developed the CholestOff dietary supplement we worked to ensure that the dose provided was consistent with the scientific literature that showed a reducing effect on cholesterol levels," said James Brooks, VP science and technology, Pharmavite. "Previously, a study was published showing that the tablet form of CholestOff lowered cholesterol levels significantly. This new study of our softgels adds to the assurance consumers can have using this product."