Lowering Cholesterol: through the use of Plant Sterols and Stanols

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Senior Honors Projects

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http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/srhonorsprog/82; https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1084&context=srhonorsprog
St. Jean, Nicole
health; heart; cholesterol; plant sterols; plant stanols; health; heart; cholesterol; plant sterols; plant stanols; Health care; Medical research; Public health; Alternative and Complementary Medicine; Cardiovascular Diseases; Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition
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Heart disease has been the number one killer of American men and women over the past hundred years, with high blood cholesterol as a major risk factor of this disease. High Cholesterol can be a result of a number of different lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. However, genetics and family history also play a role in the levels of cholesterol in the human body. Those who have high blood cholesterol levels are usually advised by their health professionals to consume a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, high in fiber and to exercise frequently. However, sometimes these precautions are just not enough to lower cholesterol to healthy levels, thus supplemental measures need to be taken. Cholesterol lowering medicines and/or adding plant sterols to a diet is a good complementary measure to take in order to lower cholesterol in individuals. People consume plant sterols and stanols every day in the foods they eat, however the amount that they consume is often not great enough to provide significant blood-cholesterol lowering effects. My senior research project will involve studying the natural and healthy alternatives to lowering individuals’ blood-cholesterol through plant sterols and stanols. Food technologies have allowed plant sterols and stanols to be naturally incorporated into many commercially modified foods (such as salad dressings, spreads, yogurts, juices, snack bars etc.). These products containing plant sterols and stanols have been approved by the FDA to label health claims about their effectiveness in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. I will explain in my research paper, the cholesterol lowering effects of plant sterols and stanols and the food technologies that have been created with these natural components