Plant sterols and stanols are naturally occurring substances that come from many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals and vegetable oils. Research shows they can help reduce the risk of heart disease by affecting cholesterol levels.
By blocking the amount of cholesterol absorbed in the small intestine, plant stanols and sterols help lower what's known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly referred to as the "bad cholesterol." Studies show that these substances can cut LDL by as much as 6 to 15 percent without lowering any of the "good cholesterol" known as HDL. By keeping LDL from getting to the arteries, plant sterols and stanols can help prevent heart disease. Consuming 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols each day is recommended for their cholesterol-busting benefits.