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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.

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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.



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.


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.


Orange juice fortified with plant sterols are effective in reducing LDL cholesterol and could easily be incorporated into the therapeutic lifestyle changes dietary regimen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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