The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Lowering cholesterol with phytosterols

     Researchers from Wageningen University in The Netherlands reviewed the research on the LDL (bad) cholesterol–lowering effects of different phytosterol doses.

    First, the details.

    • Data from 84 studies were combined for a meta-analysis of the LDL cholesterol-lowering effect of different phytosterol doses.

    And, the results.

    • The LDL cholesterol reduction was 0.34 mmol/L for an average daily dose of 2.15 grams of phytosterols.
    • Higher baseline LDL cholesterol concentrations resulted in greater LDL cholesterol reductions.
    • No significant differences were found between dose and response for plant sterols vs stanols, fat-based vs nonfat-based foods, and dairy vs nondairy foods.
    • Solid foods had a greater effect than liquid foods only at high phytosterol doses (greater than 2 grams/day).
    • Taking phytosterols once or several times per day had no significant effect on LDL cholesterol lowering.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded that eating more phytosterol-containing foods results in greater LDL cholesterol–lowering.

    Information on the extent of LDL cholesterol lowering can be found here and here.

    1/30/09 21:57 JR

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