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Nutr J. 2013 Jan 8;12:7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-7.

Effect of a plant sterol, fish oil and B vitamin combination on cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic children and adolescents: a pilot study.

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Institute of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, 813 72, Slovakia.



Assessment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors can predict clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis in adulthood. In this pilot study with hypercholesterolemic children and adolescents, we investigated the effects of a combination of plant sterols, fish oil and B vitamins on the levels of four independent risk factors for CVD; LDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, C-reactive protein and homocysteine.


Twenty five participants (mean age 16 y, BMI 23 kg/m2) received daily for a period of 16 weeks an emulsified preparation comprising plant sterols esters (1300 mg), fish oil (providing 1000 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) and vitamins B12 (50 μg), B6 (2.5 mg), folic acid (800 μg) and coenzyme Q10 (3 mg). Atherogenic and inflammatory risk factors, plasma lipophilic vitamins, provitamins and fatty acids were measured at baseline, week 8 and 16.


The serum total cholesterol, LDL- cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol, subfractions LDL-2, IDL-1, IDL-2 and plasma homocysteine levels were significantly reduced at the end of the intervention period (p<0.05). The triacylglycerols levels decreased by 17.6%, but did not reach significance. No significant changes in high sensitivity C-reactive protein, HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-1 were observed during the study period. After standardisation for LDL cholesterol, there were no significant changes in the levels of plasma γ-tocopherol, β-carotene and retinol, except for reduction in α-tocopherol levels. The plasma levels of n-3 fatty acids increased significantly with the dietary supplementation (p<0.05).


Daily intake of a combination of plant sterols, fish oil and B vitamins may modulate the lipid profile of hypercholesterolemic children and adolescents.


Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN89549017.

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