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Fortified OJ may lower 'bad' cholesterol

Plant sterols — recognized for their cholesterol-lowering power when added to margarines, salad dressings and other fats — are just as effective in reducing low density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol levels, when added to orange juice, say UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center researchers.

The results, based on a 10-week study of 72 healthy volunteers with mildly elevated cholesterol levels, appeared in the American Heart Association's journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

"Orange juice has wide appeal since it is consumed by individuals of all ages, from early childhood to old age. And for individuals who do not want to take a drug for mildly elevated cholesterol, this may provide a healthy and attractive alternative," said Sridevi Devaraj, an assistant professor of pathology and investigator in the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research at UC Davis Medical Center who led the sterol study.


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