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Br J Nutr. 2001 Aug;86(2):233-9.

Effects of yoghurt enriched with plant sterols on serum lipids in patients with moderate hypercholesterolaemia.

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Institute of Systematic Medical Theraphy, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy.


The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of consumption of a yoghurt-based drink enriched with 1-2 g plant sterols/d on serum lipids, transaminases, vitamins and hormone status in patients with primary moderate hypercholesterolaemia. Thirty patients were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: a low-fat low-lactose yoghurt-based drink enriched with 1 g plant sterol extracted from soyabean/d v. a low-fat low-lactose yoghurt, for a period of 4 weeks. After a 2-week wash-out period, patients were crossed over for an additional 4-week period. Second, after a 4-week wash-out period, eleven patients were treated with 2 g plant sterols/d in a second open part of the study for a period of 8 weeks. The yoghurt enriched with plant sterols significantly reduced, in a dose-dependent manner, serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels and LDL-cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol (P<0.001), whereas no changes were observed in HDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels, either in the first or the second part of the study. There were only slight, not statistically significant, differences in serum transaminase, vitamin and hormone levels. To conclude, a low-fat yoghurt-based drink moderately enriched with plant sterols may lower total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol effectively in patients with primary moderate hypercholesterolaemia.

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