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Product Review: Review of Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements (Plant Sterols and Policosanol)
 

Initial Posting: 3/17/10  Updated: 5/25/13 
Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements (Sterols and Policosanol) Some Supplements Can Help Lower Cholesterol and Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease.

Find Out Which Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Can and Which Can Not!

Alphabetical list of cholesterol-lowering supplement brands with sterols or policosanol in report

Make sure the sterol or policosanol supplement you take passed our test and is right for you!
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Elevated cholesterol is a key risk factor for heart disease.  Many supplements are sold to improve cholesterol levels.  Some really work to lower cholesterol, while the evidence is not as strong for others.  Among those proven to work are plant sterols, also known as phytosterols.  ConsumerLab.com tested several sterol supplements and found that each provided the right amount of sterols for lowering bad cholesterol.  However, one supplement would not break apart to release its ingredients and is likely to provide no benefit.
 
Another supplement touted to lower your cholesterol is policosanol, although the evidence is mixed.  Tests by ConsumerLab.com identified four policosanol supplements that delivered what they promised. ConsumerLab.com also reviewed the evidence for eight other ingredients that may improve cholesterol levels and/or triglyceride levels. 

You must subscribe to get the full test results for plant sterol and policosanol supplements along with ConsumerLab.com recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for seven supplements selected by ConsumerLab.com and for five others that passed voluntary certification testing. 

In this comprehensive report, you'll discover:
    • Which plant sterol and policosanol supplements failed testing and which passed
    • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of cholesterol-lowering supplements (and discussion of Smart Balance and Benecol spreads) 
    • The pros and cons of other cholesterol-lowering ingredients such as fish oil (omega-3), garlic, niacin, red yeast rice, guggulsterone, pantethine, soy protein and Sytrinol and which may be best for you
    • Dosage recommendations and how best to take cholesterol-lowering supplements, including plant sterols, plant stanols, and policosanol 
    • Concerns, cautions, drug and nutrient interactions, and potential side effects of plant sterols and policosanol 
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Update:
Problem Found with Another Sterol Supplement: (4/14/12) Plant sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, can not only help treat high cholesterol but also symptoms of prostate enlargement (BPH). Consequently, some beta-sitosterol supplements were also tested in ConsumerLab.com's Product Review of Prostate Supplements. One of these products listed a dose and serving instructions particularly suited for cholesterol-lowering. Testing, however, showed its tablets would not break apart properly (disintegrate) in solution, despite containing the listed amount of sterols. See the Update in this report for information about this product, which is Not Approved by ConsumerLab.com.
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