Globally, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, yet about 80 percent of heart disease and stroke could be prevented by positive lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.
High cholesterol levels is one of the major risk factors leading to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. According to international guidelines, dietary intervention is the cornerstone of therapy for dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia is an abnormal amount of lipids (such as cholesterol and/or fat) in the blood. The diet also plays an important role when cholesterol medication has already been initiated since the diet has other beneficial effects beyond its effects on lipid concentrations.
Several international organizations recommend the consumption of foods containing plant sterol as part of a cholesterol lowering diet. Examples of these include American Heart Association (AHA), US National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), The World Heart Federation (WHF), The British Heart Foundation and The Australian Heart Foundation.
Clinical Evidence of Plant Sterols
Plant sterols are found naturally in everyday foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, grain products, fruit and vegetables. The average daily intake of plant sterols from regular foods is about 0.3 grams per day. The optimal intake of plant sterols for significant cholesterol lowering is two grams per day. To reach this recommended intake, large quantities of regular foods would need to be consumed.
The key benefit of plant sterols lies in their ability to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the blood, both from dietary and endogenous sources of cholesterol, such as cholesterol produced by the liver. Consuming two grams of plant sterols a day reduces the absorption of cholesterol by 30 to 40 percent. The unabsorbed cholesterol will pass through our digestive system and be excreted with our bowel movements.
As a result, total blood cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), ‘bad’, cholesterol decrease, while HDL (high-density lipoprotein), ‘good’, cholesterol is not affected. Clinical research has shown that an intake of one to three grams plant sterols per day can substantially and consistently lower blood levels of total cholesterol by six to 10 percent and LDL cholesterol by eight to 15 percent (Katan MB, et al. Efficacy and safety of plant sterols and stanols in the management of blood cholesterol levels. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003; 78,965- 978).
Vitamode® ReduSterol – A delicious cholesterol lowering drink with Plant Sterol
Vitamode® ReduSterol is a heart-healthy drink containing plant sterols derived from vegetables which have been proven to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels. Unlike bland-tasting oatmeal or oat bran powder, Vitamode® ReduSterol gives you a refreshingly delicious and authentic taste that you will love daily. This new drink comes in single serve sachets that makes it convenient and easy to prepare, ideal for those on the move. Vitamode® ReduSterol does not contain preservatives or artificial colourings; it is also suitable for vegetarians and those intolerant to lactose. This all-natural drink can be enjoyed hot or cold catering to the preference of different individuals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an approved health claim for plant sterol: Foods containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving (one sachet) of Vitamode® ReduSterol supplies one gram of plant sterols.