Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Plant Sterols in One Serve of Wholegrain Wheat Breakfast Cereal Biscuits-a Randomised Crossover Clinical Trial

Foods. 2018 Mar 16;7(3):39. doi: 10.3390/foods7030039.


The meta-analysis of plant sterol supplement studies suggests an 8% lowering of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol for 2 to 2.5 g/day of plant sterols. Cereal foods have been rarely tested, and one study showed a lower LDL lowering of 5.4% with 1.6 g of plant sterol in breakfast cereal. We aimed to test a breakfast wheat biscuit with 2 g of plant sterols in a single serve of two wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuits. Fifty volunteers with a total cholesterol of >5.5 mmol/L were recruited for a randomised crossover study with two 4-week periods with no washout, of which 45 successfully completed the study. After exclusion of four outliers, the difference in LDL cholesterol between standard wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuit and plant sterol-enriched wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuit was 0.23 mmol/L or 5.6% (p = 0.001) with a 95% confidence interval of 2.4-8.9%. Men and daily cereal consumers had greater responses 9.8% vs. 3.6% and 7.2% vs. 3.8% respectively (p < 0.05). The LDL lowering effect of 2 g of plant sterol enriched from one serve of wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuit was not significantly different from other food products delivering 2-2.5 g of plant sterols daily. Regular cereal consumers have a better response.

Keywords: LDL cholesterol; breakfast cereal; crossover clinical trial; plant sterols; wholegrain wheat.