A diet and exercise programmay help reduce fat and cholesterollevels in individuals atrisk for coronary artery disease.Developed by Canadianresearchers, the programcombines eating plant-derivedsterols, or oils, with exercise.The study included 84 non-activeindividuals between theages of 40 and 70. For the 8-week study, the participantswere randomly assigned toreceive 1 of 4 interventions: acombination of sterols andexercise, exercise, sterols, ora control treatment.
Reporting on the study'sresults, published recently in theAmerican Journal of ClinicalNutrition, senior author PeterJones, PhD, said, "Both consumingplant sterols and exercisinghave been shown to affectblood cholesterol levels on theirown. Our research is the first tolook at the complementaryeffects of these therapies."
Doctoral student and leadauthor Krista Varady also commentedon the study's results:"These findings suggest thatcombination therapy mayimprove the cholesterol andlipid levels in previouslysedentary adults who havehigh cholesterol. Furthermore,this therapy may reduce therisk of coronary artery diseasefor these individuals."