Finnish company Raisio Benecol has been awarded US patent 6174560 for its “Substance for lowering high cholesterol level in serum and methods for preparing and using the same,” an  improvement over its earlier US patents 5502045  of 1996 and 5958913 of  1999.

Besides Raisio Benecol, other companies active in this specific technology are Raision Tehtaat, Marigen, and Procter and Gamble.


    The invention relates to a substance which lowers LDL cholesterol levels in serum and which is fat soluble ß-sitostanol fatty acid ester, and to a method for preparing and using the same. The substance can be taken orally as a food additive, food substitute or supplement. A daily consumption of the ß-sitostanol ester in an amount between about 0.2 and about 20 g/day has been shown to reduce the absorption of biliary and endogenic cholesterol.

First of 22 claims:

A food composition suitable for reducing blood serum cholesterol levels and/or reducing absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the bloodstream, the food composition comprising a nutritional substance and a blood serum cholesterol level reducing and/or cholesterol absorption reducing effective amount of at least one stanol fatty acid ester.

By Navroz Havewala, correspondent