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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.

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Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research and General Clinical Research Center, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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).


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.

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