People on a low fat diet can actively reduce LDL cholesterol levels by consuming plant-sterol enriched spread, according to the result of a new Japanese study presented today that involved 53 men and women. Researchers aimed to establish the different effects of consuming plant sterol-ester-enriched spread or polyunsaturated (PUFA) spread on total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Conducted by independent researchers at the Waseda Clinic, Tokyo, the study compared the results of two groups of people, who all consumed fat as only 33% of their total energy intake. The first group, who also consumed 15g of Flora pro.active a day over a six week period, saw their LDL cholesterol levels fall by 9.1%, compared to those who consumed the same amounts of a PUFA rich control spread.

Furthermore, clinical trials have shown that the daily consumption of 20-25g of Flora pro-active, which is manufactured by Unilever, over the course of about three weeks, can reduce LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%.

At the Unilever Health Institute, Dr Fady Ntanios commented: "These results are very encouraging - they clearly demonstrate the benefits a plant-sterol enriched spread can bring, in reducing LDL cholesterol."

Similarly, Dr Andrew Neil, a consultant at the Radcliffe Royal Infirmary, in Oxford, welcomed the findings: "These […] are particularly significant for patients who have a higher than average cholesterol level and are already on a low-fat diet."

To read more about Flora pro.activ, click here.