Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cholest-Off

This is a place to discuss the efficacy and potential side effects of the "Cholest-Off" -- a mix of plant sterols and stanols (Reducol) distributed by Amazon.com, and claimed that it "may reduce the risk of heart disease, and clinically proven to reduce cholesterol." Please post your comments below!


Here is what they claim:

Product Description
Cholest-Off contains Reducol- a unique, proprietary blend of natural plant sterols and stanols. Plant sterols and stanols, also known as phytosterols and stanols, are naturally occurring substances present in leaves, nuts, vegetables and other plants. Over 40 years of clinical research on plant sterols and stanols have demonstrated their long-term safety with no known adverse effects. Products containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols and stanols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily intake of at least 0.8 grams as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, helps support cardiovascular health. One serving of Nature Made Cholest-Off supplies 0.9 grams of plant sterols and stanols. As part of a cholesterol management program, you should consult your physician and have your cholesterol levels checked regularly. Many factors such as diet, body weight, physical exercise and age can affect your cholesterol levels. That is why a diet low in saturated fat and regular exercise are recommended as part of a cholesterol management program. However, diet and exercise alone don't always reduce your cholesterol levels to the desired range. That's where Nature Made Cholest-Off can help. Total Cholesterol: Desirable......Less than 200 mg/dL Borderline.....200 to 239 mg/dL High..............240 mg/dL or greater Cholest-Off with Reducol, is clinically proven to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption. As a result, taken as directed, Cholest-Off will lower your cholesterol levels and help support your cardiovascular health. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Nature Made Cholest-off 240 Caplets - Clinically Proven to Reduce Cholesterol


Here are some definitions:

Sterols -- Sterols are a subgroup of steroids with a hydroxyl group in the 3-position of the A-ring. They are lipids synthetised from Acetyl coenzyme A. Important sterols include cholesterol, phytosterols, and some steroid hormones. Sterols of plants are called phytosterols. Plant sterols are also known to block cholesterol absorption sites in the human intestine thus helping to reduce cholesterol levels in humans

Stanols -- hydrogenated sterols. The difference between stanols and sterols is that the former are saturated (by hydrogen) and the latter are not.

Reducol -- is a patented blend of naturally occurring compounds found in plants known as phytosterols and phytostanols. It works primarily by blocking absorption of cholesterol in the gut without being absorbed into your body. Reducol is a tasteless and odourless ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of applications including non-fat and fatty functional foods and dietary supplements. It is derived from coniferous trees, and is manufactured in the USA by Canadian biotech firm Forbes Medi-Tech.

Reducol is listed and discussed in these new books:

Physicians Desk Reference 2006:
Guide to Drug Interactions, Side Effects, and Indications



Handbook of Functional Lipids (Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals)



But what about the potential side effects of impaired cholesterol absorption?
Does anybody know?

Please post your comments below if you have any kind of experience with this product, and side effects in particular; or know the most recent scientific literature on possible side effects. Thanks!

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9 Comments:

Blogger Graeme Smith said...

There is quite a bit of research demonstrating the efficacy of plant sterols/stanols

with cholesterol...

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Mar;24(3):e25-8. Epub 2004 Feb 5.

Plant sterol-fortified orange juice effectively lowers cholesterol levels in mildly hypercholesterolemic healthy individuals.

* Devaraj S,
* Jialal I,
* Vega-Lopez S.

Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research, Department of Pathology, University of California Davis Medical Center, 4635 Second Avenue, Res 1 Building, Room 3000, Sacramento CA 95817, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Therapeutic lifestyle changes include dietary modifications such as inclusion of phytosterols, which effectively lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in margarines and other fats. Their effectiveness in nonfat moieties is not yet established. The aim of this study was to examine if phytosterols alter the plasma lipoprotein profile when incorporated into nonfat orange juice. METHODS AND RESULTS: After a 2-week run-in phase with orange juice, 72 mildly hypercholesterolemic healthy subjects were randomized to receive either placebo orange juice (placebo OJ) or plant sterol-fortified orange juice (sterol OJ) (2g/d) for 8 weeks. Fasting blood was obtained at baseline, after 2 weeks of OJ, and after 8 weeks of placebo/sterol-OJ supplementation. Sterol OJ supplementation significantly decreased total (7.2%), LDL (12.4%), and non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (7.8%) compared with baseline and compared with placebo OJ (P<0.01). Apolipoprotein B levels were significantly decreased (9.5%) with sterol OJ. There were no significant changes in HDL cholesterol or triglycerides with the sterol OJ. While folate and B12 levels significantly increased, homocysteine levels were unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: Orange juice fortified with plant sterols are effective in reducing LDL cholesterol and could easily be incorporated into the therapeutic lifestyle changes dietary regimen.

PMID: 14764424 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

and C-reactive protein....

Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;84(4):756-61.

Reduced-calorie orange juice beverage with plant sterols lowers C-reactive protein concentrations and improves the lipid profile in human volunteers.

* Devaraj S,
* Autret BC,
* Jialal I.

Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research and General Clinical Research Center, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. sridevi.devaraj@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

BACKGROUND: Dietary plant sterols effectively reduce LDL cholesterol when incorporated into fat matrices. We showed previously that supplementation with orange juice containing plant sterols (2 g/d) significantly reduced LDL cholesterol. Inflammation is pivotal in atherosclerosis. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), the prototypic marker of inflammation, is a cardiovascular disease risk marker; however, there is a paucity of data on the effect of plant sterols on CRP concentrations. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether plant sterols affect CRP concentrations and the lipoprotein profile when incorporated into a reduced-calorie (50 calories/240 mL) orange juice beverage. DESIGN: Seventy-two healthy subjects were randomly assigned to receive a reduced-calorie orange juice beverage either without (Placebo Bev) or with (1 g/240 mL; Sterol Bev) plant sterols twice a day with meals for 8 wk. Fasting blood was obtained at baseline and after 8 wk of Placebo Bev or Sterol Bev supplementation. RESULTS: Sterol Bev supplementation significantly reduced total cholesterol (5%; P < 0.01) and LDL cholesterol (9.4%; P < 0.001) compared with both baseline and Placebo Bev (P < 0.05). HDL cholesterol increased significantly with Sterol Bev (P < 0.02). No significant changes in triacylglycerol, glucose, or liver function tests were observed with Sterol Bev. Sterol Bev supplementation resulted in no significant change in vitamin E and carotenoid concentrations. Sterol Bev supplementation resulted in a significant reduction of CRP concentrations compared with baseline and Placebo Bev (median reduction: 12%; P < 0.005). CONCLUSION: Supplementation with a reduced-calorie orange juice beverage containing plant sterols is effective in reducing CRP and LDL cholesterol and could be incorporated into the dietary portion of therapeutic lifestyle changes.

PMID: 17023701 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I'm surprised you haven't searched or seen these studies Leonid

4:33 PM  
Blogger Dr. Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for posting this!

Are there any recent studies on potential side effects of impaired cholesterol absorption?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this work in a similar way as Welchol?

12:06 PM  
Blogger dj1 said...

Many factors such as diet, body weight, physical exercise and age can affect ...
lower your cholesterol levels and help support your cardiovascular health. ...
Plant sterols are also known to block cholesterol absorption sites in the ...How to Maintain a Normal Cholesterol Level

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