What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is produced naturally by the liver and other organs. It's also found in the diet, in foods such as meats, poultry, fish and dairy products. Your body needs cholesterol to insulate nerves, make cell membranes and produce certain hormones. It is carried through the body by lipoproteins in the blood.
The Good & The Bad:
- "Good" cholesterol is called HDL (High Density Lipoprotein). HDL transports cholesterol from the body's tissues to the liver, where it is broken down and excreted by the body.
- "Bad" cholesterol is known as LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein). LDL transports cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body, where it is absorbed into blood and tissue. High levels of bad cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular-related issues.
The American Heart Association advises adults to have cholesterol levels checked every 4 to 6 years.
What are Benecol® Spreads?
Benecol® Spreads are the only products in the U.S. that are based on plant stanols, an ingredient that studies have shown lowers cholesterol when used as part of a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet. Plant stanols reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the blood, resulting in lower serum LDL and total cholesterol levels.
How much is a serving?
One Tablespoon is one serving, which contains 1 gram of plant stanols.
How much should I consume per day?
Each serving of Benecol® Spread contains 1 gram of plant stanols (1.7 grams of plant stanol ester). The FDA states that a daily total intake of 2 grams from phytosterol-containing foods, when eaten with a meal or snacks, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Is there a recommended daily intake level for plant stanols?
A large number of clinical studies have shown that 2-3 grams of plant stanols/sterols can result in a significant reduction of cholesterol levels.
Can I lower my cholesterol even more by adding Benecol® to a diet already low in saturated fat and cholesterol?
Yes, the plant stanols in Benecol® Spreads affect biliary as well as dietary cholesterol absorption. Studies have demonstrated that the addition of plant stanol esters to a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet result in significant additional lowering of serum LDL and total cholesterol.
What if I'm already taking a statin medication?
"Statins" are a class of drugs that prevent the production of cholesterol in the liver. Because they work differently, Benecol® Spreads can be used in conjunction with a statin to achieve additional, cholesterol lowering results.
Will Benecol® interfere with my other prescription medications?
There is no clinical evidence that plant stanols interfere with any medications. In clinical studies on plant stanols, no drug interactions were reported. And, to date, no drug interactions have been reported in medical literature.
How will I know if Benecol® is working?
We recommend having your cholesterol level measured by a healthcare professional.
Are there side effects from consuming plant stanols?
No - plant stanols have an excellent safety profile, which has been demonstrated by over 70 published clinical studies. Millions of individuals have consumed Benecol® Spread since its launch in Finland in 1995. Furthermore, plant stanols are virtually un-absorbed by the body and are excreted.
Are Benecol® Products Kosher?
Yes, Benecol® is kosher.
Are Benecol® Products gluten-free?
Yes, Benecol® Spreads are gluten-free.
Are Benecol® Products dairy-free?
No, Benecol® Spreads contain milk products.
Do Benecol® Products contain trans fats?
Benecol® Light and Original are made with no partially hydrogenated oils and contain 0 grams of trans fat per serving.