Just in time for the holidays, McGill researchers have identified a new way to reduce fat and cholesterol levels in the body. Their program, which combines consuming plant-derived sterols (or oils) with exercise, may benefit those who are at risk of coronary heart disease. These findings were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"Both consuming plant sterols and exercising have been shown to affect blood cholesterol levels on their own," said senior author McGill Professor of dietetics and nutrition, Peter Jones. "Our research is the first to look at the complementary combined effects of these therapies."
Seventy-four non-active individuals between the ages of 40 and 70 were recruited for the study. They were placed into the following four different intervention groups: combination (consumed margarine containing plant sterols and exercised), exercise (consumed plant-sterol -free margarine and exercised), sterol only (consumed margarine containing plant sterols and did not exercise) and control (consumed plant-sterol free margarine and did not exercise). Exercise involved using stair-stepping machines and stationary bicycles three times a week. Margarine was consumed four times a day. This regimen was continued for eight weeks, blood samples were taken and lipid analysis was performed.
Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!
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