The Health Benefits of Plant Sterols | Cooper Complete
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The Health Benefits of Plant Sterols

Photograph of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, and berries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of U.S. adults—about 86 million people—have high cholesterol, putting them at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Almost half of these individuals (45.5 percent) are not treating their high cholesterol with medications.

The most common prescription medication for high cholesterol is statins, which can lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) by as much as 30-50 percent. For those who want to help with controlling their cholesterol levels in addition to statins, plant stanols and sterols can be effective.

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Plant Sterols Supplement 1.3 g

Cooper Complete Plant Sterols Supplement includes a variety of purified plant sterols: campesterol, stigmasterol, B-sitosterol, and other cholesterol-like compounds. This dietary supplement for cholesterol health supports a healthy heart and helps to lower dietary cholesterol.†  

$35.98 Add to cart

The health benefit of plant sterols is their role in supporting healthy cholesterol levels. Plant stanols and sterols are natural compounds found in small amounts in vegetables and vegetable oils, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. These compounds have a similar structure to cholesterol and may act by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.

A popular food format for consumption of plant sterols is fortified fat-based foods, including margarines, spreads, yogurt and milk. Compared to some commercially prepared products such as Benecol® Original Spread, Cooper Complete Plant Sterols contain more than five times as much plant stanol esters in two capsules (1300 mg vs. 500 mg), with almost half the fat and less than 25 percent of the calories.

Large epidemiological studies have shown plant sterol supplementation at even low levels (126 mg/day) is an effective means of lowering LDL cholesterol—while excluding plant sterols from the diet may actually lead to increases in LDL cholesterol. On the health benefits of plant sterols, the Food and Drug Administration tells us, “a daily total intake of at least 1.3g, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

A summary of several studies on the health benefits of plant sterols concluded that, depending on the daily dosage, LDL cholesterol can be reduced by as much as 16 percent, correlating to significant reductions in the risk of coronary heart disease.

Researchers also tell us that, in addition to their effectiveness at lowering cholesterol, the health benefits of plant sterols may also include reduced risk of some cancers, diabetes, obesity and inflammation due to their anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties. In another study, plant sterols taken with fish oil were found to have a synergistic effect in balancing inflammatory markers.

Plant sterols are usually well-tolerated and safe for most people. Side effects are relatively uncommon but may include constipation, nausea, heartburn, gas and upset stomach—especially with higher doses. Plant sterols may reduce the effectiveness of Questran (cholestyramine), a cholesterol-lowering drug. If your physician has prescribed Questran, supplement with plant sterols at least one hour before or 4 to 6 hours after taking your prescription medication.

It’s always important to consult your physician before adding any new supplement to your regimen. Your physician understands your health profile best, so talk with them about which supplements are best for you and your medical condition.

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