Food Enriched with Plant Sterols
There are a few types of food that are enriched with plant sterols. The acai berry is one of the
best natural food enriched with plant sterols, especially the beta sitosterol that helps lower cholesterol.
What are plant sterols or stanols?
Plant sterols are extracts of particular plants that have cholesterol lowering capacity.
When plant sterols are ingested, they induce the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine. As a
result, cholesterol in your diet never gets into your body system.
FDA and claims of food enriched with plant sterols
In September 2000, the FDA (The US Food and Drug Administration) officially authorized that
food enriched with plant sterols can bear labels claiming that plant sterol or plant stanol esters lower
the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). The FDA concluded that plant sterol esters and plant stanol esters may
reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels. You can read the FDA's announcement
concerning food enriched with plant sterols below.
Differences between plant sterols and stanol esters
While plant sterols are plant extracts, stanol ester is a chemical compounds made from
plant sterols. Stanols, being derived from plant sterols, are also known to reduce the level of low density
lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). However, small amounts of naturally occurring stanol esters are also
found in some foods.
Acai, natural plant sterols and stanols
Acai is one of the best sources of naturally plant sterols and stanols. Acai is one of the few
foods that is heavily enriched with plant sterols as well as other essential nutrients that your body needs to stay
healthy. Nothing that is naturally occurring (hence good for you) possess anything remotely close to the
nutrients the acai berry contains. Plant sterols, stanols and their cholesterol lowering properties are just
some of the health benefits that the acai berry has.
FDA's article on food with plant sterols