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Individuals with borderline high cholesterol may be able to lower their levels by drinking orange juice fortified with cholesterol-fighting plant compounds called sterols, according to findings reported in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (March 23, 2004).
Researchers had 72 participants with mildly high cholesterol, aged 20 to 73 and with no history of cardiovascular disease, consume regular orange juice for a 2-week "run-in" phase. Then, they randomly assigned half of the participants to drink 2 glasses a day of the fortified juice for 8 weeks, while the remaining volunteers continued with regular orange juice.
Blood tests revealed that the fortified juice group's total cholesterol and lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol had fallen by 7% and 12%, respectively, by the end of the study. The study received partial funding from the Coca Cola Company, which launched the sterol-filled juice Minute Maid Premium Heart Wise.