The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Lowering cholesterol with phytosterols

     Researchers from Wageningen University in The Netherlands reviewed the research on the LDL (bad) cholesterol–lowering effects of different phytosterol doses.

    First, the details.

    • Data from 84 studies were combined for a meta-analysis of the LDL cholesterol-lowering effect of different phytosterol doses.

    And, the results.

    • The LDL cholesterol reduction was 0.34 mmol/L for an average daily dose of 2.15 grams of phytosterols.
    • Higher baseline LDL cholesterol concentrations resulted in greater LDL cholesterol reductions.
    • No significant differences were found between dose and response for plant sterols vs stanols, fat-based vs nonfat-based foods, and dairy vs nondairy foods.
    • Solid foods had a greater effect than liquid foods only at high phytosterol doses (greater than 2 grams/day).
    • Taking phytosterols once or several times per day had no significant effect on LDL cholesterol lowering.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded that eating more phytosterol-containing foods results in greater LDL cholesterol–lowering.

    Information on the extent of LDL cholesterol lowering can be found here and here.

    1/30/09 21:57 JR

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