Allergy Test UK  - Carole Macgregor
High Cholesterol

This is now a very exciting new product which has been clinically proven to lower excessive Cholesterol levels.  
Thousands of people today are suffering from high Cholesterol and do not wish to use conventional medication due to all the risks of side effects that Statins an cause.  Now there is a proven alternative.
In a normal day a person's daily intake of Phytosterols from food is not sufficient to have any significant effect on Cholesterol absorption.  Research suggests that 800 mg up to 3 g per day Of Phytosterols should be consumed in order to reduce LDL Cholesterol levels by between 9% - 20%, although there is a lot of variation amongst individuals.  Studies have also shown that Phytosterols appear to enhance the effects of Statins on lowering Cholesterol.  (Statins refers to a range of Cholesterol lowering drugs in the same 'family' - commonly prescribed by G.P's and which have a different mode of action to Phytosterols.)
Recently it has been made possible to incorporate Phytosterols in foods such as margarine (e.g. Benecol & Flora Pro Active) and the public awareness of Phytosterols has been greatly enhanced as a result.
Taking Phytosterols in the form of a capsule is simple and convenient and does not require adjusting the normal diet to include special foods.  However, best results will be obtained by following a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fats.  An active lifestyle is also recommended.
Phytosterols (plant sterols) occur naturally in plant materials such as nuts, grains, seeds, leaves and vegetable oils (especially Soybean Oil).  They have a chemical structure similar to Cholesterol, but they are absorbed by the gut at much lower levels.
Cholesterol is itself a Sterol and in humans it is synthesized by the liver, but an appreciable amount may also be consumed through diet.  It is a building block for steroid hormones such as Testosterone and Oestrogen as well as for cell walls.  However, it has been well established that raised blood Cholesterol, particularly low density lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol, increases the risk of Coronary Heart Disease.  Excess LDL Cholesterol can be oxidised to ultimately form plaque that builds up on artery walls, thereby restricting blood flow and raising blood pressure.  This is just one way that Coronary Heart Disease develops in those at risk, and, if left untreated, could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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