Eating plant sterols have been proven to be an easy way to lower your LDL cholesterol , which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease. However, they do not affect HDL or triglyceride levels. Sterols occur naturally in many grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Manufacturers have also started to add sterols to foods such as margarine and orange juice.
Sterols work by preventing cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream. In essence, they block the absorption of cholesterol. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that individuals with high cholesterol get 2 grams of sterols daily. Sterols are also available as a pill or powder.
Dr. Anne Hermann is a holistic internal medicine physician. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.