Friday, May 27, 2005

Into The Heart

Mostly due to the fact I'm cooking for one and have no one to nag me, I consume more red meat and other cholesterol raising foods than I should and, therefore, my cholesterol is a bit high. To combat this I drink Benecol yoghurt drinks on the advice of my nutritionist sister. She tells me that these drinks are totally unproven for the range of claims made about them (like strengthening the immune system) but that plant sterols have indeed been shown to lower cholesterol. The thing is, though, plant sterols don't actually lower cholesterol they (essentially) replace cholesterol, which is a different thing altogether. Now there's nothing wrong with this in theory - studies have shown the intake of plant sterols to be safe. However chatting to my ex last evening (she's doing a PhD in chemistry) she told me that a colleague was finding evidence that plant sterols were indeed toxic to cells. That, if correct, is a little worrying. Plant sterols are pretty much the only cholesterol lowering mechanism we have if we want to avoid medication.
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