A softgel dietary supplement containing esterified plant sterols and stanols improves the blood lipid profile of adults with primary hypercholesterolemia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled replication study.

Research paper by James M JM McKenney, Belinda H BH Jenks, Ed E Shneyvas, James R JR Brooks, Sonia F SF Shenoy, Chad M CM Cook, Kevin C KC Maki

Indexed on: 30 Nov '13Published on: 30 Nov '13Published in: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


A well-controlled clinical trial previously demonstrated the efficacy of a novel softgel dietary supplement providing 1.8 g/day esterified plant sterols and stanols, as part of the National Cholesterol Education Program Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, to improve the fasting lipid profile of men and women with primary hypercholesterolemia (fasting low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol ≥ 130 and <220 mg/dL [≥ 3.37 and <5.70 mmol/L]). The purpose of this randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled crossover study (conducted July 2011 to January 2012) was to support these previous findings in a similar, but independent, sample with a different lead investigator and research site. Repeated measures analysis of covariance was used to compare outcomes for sterol/stanol and placebo treatment conditions using the baseline value as a covariate. Forty-nine subjects were screened and 30 (8 men and 22 women) were randomized to treatment (all completed the trial). Baseline (mean ± standard error of the mean) plasma lipid concentrations were: total cholesterol 236.6 ± 4.2 mg/dL (6.11 ± 0.11 mmol/L), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol 56.8 ± 3.0 mg/dL (1.47 ± 0.08 mmol/L), LDL cholesterol 151.6 ± 3.3 mg/dL (3.92 ± 0.09 mmol/L), non-HDL cholesterol 179.7 ± 4.6 mg/dL (4.64 ± 0.12 mmol/L), and triglycerides 144.5 ± 14.3 mg/dL (1.63 ± 0.16 mmol/L). Mean placebo-adjusted reductions in plasma lipid levels were significant (P<0.01) for LDL cholesterol (-4.3%), non-HDL cholesterol (-4.1%), and total cholesterol (-3.5%), but not for triglycerides or HDL cholesterol. These results support the efficacy of 1.8 g/day esterified plant sterols/stanols in softgel capsules, administered as an adjunct to the National Cholesterol Education Program Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, to augment reductions in atherogenic lipid levels in individuals with hypercholesterolemia.

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