A cholesterol-lowering food product, designed to be blended into cholesterol-lowering spreads, yoghurts, food and drinks, has been launched in the UK by the Canadian company Forbes Medi-Tech.

Reducol is a white, tasteless, plant sterol extract of pine-wood that claims to reduce cholesterol levels.

According to a press release that accompanied yesterday’s (20 December) launch of the product, Tesco has already agreed to use Reducol for a new range of foods to be on the shelves early next year (January 2006).
Professor Peter Jones, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Montreal, whose laboratory has been researching plant sterols used in Reducol, said research on volunteers had shown that diet alone can reduce cholesterol levels by 9%, but diet plus Reducol resulted in a 24% reduction in blood cholesterol.
He added: “There do not appear to be safety concerns with plant sterols. They appear to be extremely safe, with no long-term side effects.” The statement added that there was no taste to deter people and “no after-taste” as well as no change in stool composition.