June 10, 2009
MONTRÉAL—Data from a current study indicated that in order to obtain optimal cholesterol-lowering impact, plant sterols should be consumed as smaller doses given more often, rather than one large dose (Eu J Clin Nutr. 2009;63:747–755) (DOI:10.1038/ejcn.2008.36). A randomized, placebo-controlled, three-phase (6 d/phase) crossover, supervised feeding trial was conducted in 19 subjects. Subjects were provided (1) a control margarine with each meal; (2) 1.8 g/d of plant sterols in margarine with breakfast (single-BF) and control margarine with lunch and supper; or (3) 1.8 g/d of plant sterols in margarine divided equally at each of the three daily meals (three times/d). Relative to control, end-point plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations were lower (P<0.05) after consuming plant sterols three times/d but were not different when consumed once per day. Relative to the control, end-point LDL level was 0.210.27 mmol/l (6 percent) lower (P<0.05) at the end of the three times/d phase. Cholesterol fractional synthesis rate was highest (P<0.05) after the three times per day phase. Cholesterol-absorption efficiency decreased (P<0.05) by 36 and 39 percent after the three times per day and single-BF phase, respectively, relative to control.
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