The manufacturers of Flora have launched a new cholesterol-lowering spread called Flora pro.activ which is now available in all major stores.

With the great taste of Flora Light, Flora pro.activ is the first cholesterol-lowering spread to obtain the approval of the EU Standing Committee for Foodstuffs. This follows a rigorous, independent review of all scientific data which ensures consumer confidence in the product.

Flora pro.activ is made from cholesterol-lowering plant sterols derived from natural vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. It is designed for people who want to lower their blood cholesterol to help maintain a healthy heart. This product has already enjoyed highly successful launches in Australia, Switzerland, Brazil and the US. (In the US it has been launched under the brand name Take Control).

Independent clinical trials show that 20-25g a day, when consumed as part of a healthy diet, can reduce LDL or 'bad' cholesterol levels by an average of 10 to 15 per cent within three weeks. The product has the endorsement of the Family Heart Association.

Competitively priced at £1.95 for a 250g tub, the Flora pro.activ packaging features instructions on how to use and gives advice on eating a healthy diet. The recommended daily consumption of Flora pro.activ is 20-25g - a thin spread on 4 slices of bread. Therefore, a 250g tub should last users around a fortnight at a cost of just 16p a day.

"Flora pro.activ is a good choice for a broad range of people who are concerned about cholesterol and need to lower their levels to help protect against heart disease," explained Michael Livingston, Director of Family Heart Association.

Flora pro.activ is safe and effective for those on cholesterol lowering medication. However, due to its cholesterol lowering effect, those eating it must mention they are using it to their GP/practice nurse/dietitian so that the healthcare professional can take this into account when interpreting their blood test results and planning future treatment.

Flora pro.activ is not contraindicated with any cholesterol lowering drug therapy. A clinical trial carried out in Oxford showed that Flora pro.activ reduced LDL-cholesterol by 10% to 15% with no difference in response between patients prescribed statins and those not taking lipid-lowering drug therapy.