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November 23/30, 2011

Cholesterol-Lowering Foods and Reduction in Serum Cholesterol Levels

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Klinik für Innere Medizin III, Abteilung für Kardiologie, Angiologie und internistische Intensivmedizin, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg/Saar, Germany (oweingartner@aol.com).

JAMA. 2011;306(20):2217-2218. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1719

To the Editor: In their study on dietary strategies to reduce serum cholesterol levels, Dr Jenkins and colleagues concluded that a dietary portfolio including plant sterols resulted in greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels during a 6-month follow-up compared with low-saturated-fat dietary advice.1 Although a significant LDL-C lowering achieved by a dietary portfolio including plant sterols may be beneficial, we believe the results do not necessarily support a heart health benefit. In Table 3 of the article, the plant sterol–fortified dietary portfolio reduced serum cholesterol levels at the expense of an increase of plasma plant sterol levels (10.7 μmol/L at baseline and 13.3 μmol/L at week 24). (To convert phytosterols to mg/dL, multiply by 0.04.)

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