Around 20% of your cholesterol is absorbed in your gut from the food you eat. That’s why if you have high cholesterol, one of the first actions your doctor will recommend is to eat less saturated and trans-fat.
Unfortunately, simply eating less of these foods isn’t enough to sufficiently lower cholesterol for some people. Thankfully, there are other cholesterol-lowering strategies available, like eating plant sterols and stanols!
These compounds are found in plants like nuts, rice bran, and avocado. You can think of them as the plant versions of cholesterol (plant-sterol, if you will). Plant-sterol is very similar in structure to cholesterol but doesn’t come with negative health effects.
Just like cholesterol, plant-sterol is absorbed in your gut. Because they’re so similar in structure, they compete for absorption at the same location. As a result, the more plant sterol you eat, the more it will compete with cholesterol, causing less cholesterol to be absorbed.
Strangely, researchers investigating the effects of plant-sterol on your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) found that, despite their potential benefits, a small group of people actually experienced no benefit. Even worse, some people experience an increase in “bad” cholesterol after consuming plant sterols. But why does this happen?
Well, the answer may lie in your DNA!
This report focuses on the genetics of cholesterol. Find out:
- The role of genetics on your cholesterol levels
- Your genetic risk score based on over one million genetic variants
- Personalised recommendations based on your genetics