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Heart Watch Blog: Pills To Lower LDLCholesterol

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March 8, 2006

Pills To Lower LDLCholesterol

Pills To Lower LDLCholesterol
A pill containing plant substances called sterols can help lower cholesterol, as per scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The scientists studied patients who already were eating a heart-healthy diet and taking statin drugs to control cholesterol. The addition of plant sterols helped further lower total cholesterol and contributed to a nearly 10 percent reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" cholesterol. Results of the study were reported in the American Journal of Cardiology.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that those with elevated cholesterol eat foods containing plant sterols as a way to lower cardiovascular risk, but a number of sterol-containing foods are inconvenient for some patients.

Structurally similar to cholesterol, plant sterols can reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut by competing with cholesterol to get absorbed and transported into the body. When consumed in the diet, sterols are known to lower cholesterol levels, but sterols are not readily absorbed in the intestine unless they have been dissolved in something that the intestine can easily absorb. Because sterols are not water-soluble, past strategies have involved dissolving them in fat.

Most sterol-containing foods studied so far have been brands of margarine. Studies have observed that a daily intake of one or two tablespoons of sterol-containing margarine could significantly lower LDL cholesterol. Some juices and puddings also contain plant sterols.

"One problem is a number of of our patients already have lowered their intake of fats and calories and don't use products like margarine on a regular basis," says Anne Carol Goldberg, M.D., lead author of the new study and associate professor of medicine at Washington University. "In addition, a number of of these people eat out regularly, and they can't easily take a particular brand of margarine to a restaurant."

Daniel      



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Do you read all of the blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

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Janet      


b>Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Pills To Lower LDLCholesterol

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