Plant Sterols and Plant Stanols
Plant sterols and stanols represent a group of compounds that are an essential constituent of cell membranes in animals and plants. Cholesterol is actually a sterol of human cells, whereas phytosterols are produced by plants.
The most common plant sterols are sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. Plant sterols, although structurally similar to cholesterol, are not synthesized by the human body and are very poorly absorbed. The specific plant sterols that are currently incorporated into foods and supplements are extracted from soybean oil. The plant sterols, currently incorporated into foods, are esterified to unsaturated fatty acids (creating sterol esters) to increase lipid solubility, thus allowing maximal incorporation into a limited amount of fat. Some plant sterols currently available are saturated, to form the stanol derivatives, which are also effective at lowering cholesterol.
Heart Savior Certified Plant Sterols
The plant sterols and stanols in Heart Savior ™ have been extensively studied and have proven not only to lower cholesterol but protect the heart as well. Heart Savior plant sterols are certified 95% pure or greater. These plant chemicals are similar in structure to cholesterol. They have a slight chemical structure difference that, in comparison to cholesterol, are less absorbent. Plant sterols and stanols reduce cholesterol absorption by competing with cholesterol. You can think of it as "fake" cholesterol that dilutes your overall real cholesterol absorption and when less cholesterol is absorbed, less cholesterol returns to your liver lowering LDLs and overall cholesterol levels.
By lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels, plant sterols and stanols may also reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that taking plant sterols daily can lower cholesterol measurements by an average of 10% to 14%. The National Cholesterol Education Panel has suggested taking plant stanols and sterols along with a proper low fat diet and regular exercise program to help maintain normal cholesterol levels.
Ostlund RE Jr. Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. Phytosterols effectively reduce LDL-cholesterol when given as supplements.