Lowering cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Most cardiovascular diseases result from lifestyle choices and diseases can be prevented effectively by making changes in lifestyle. Cholesterol lowering plays a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Finland and elsewhere in Europe. Several scientific studies as well as global, European and Finnish recommendations have shown that lowering of the so called bad cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, is an important way to prevent arterial diseases.
Genes and lifestyle, particularly dietary choices, affect blood cholesterol levels. According to recommendations, blood cholesterol levels should be below 5 mmol/l, of which the share of LDL cholesterol should be below 3 mmol/l and lower in risk groups. For each 1 mmol/l reduction of LDL cholesterol, there is a 20-25% risk reduction of fatal coronary events.
Cholesterol alarmingly on the rise
Coronary heart disease mortality of working-age population in Finland has declined by more than 80% in four decades. Mortality has been successfully reduced especially through dietary changes and reduced cholesterol levels due to these changes.
In recent years, Finns' cholesterol levels have taken an upward swing after decades of decline. This is due to the increased use of butter as well as spreads containing milk fat and creams.
Trendy diets and misleading articles occasionally presented in the media can guide consumers to understate the significance of elevated cholesterol for health. However, solid scientific research evidence as well as Finnish and international recommendations for the prevention and treatment of arterial diseases indicate that elevated cholesterol has a significant impact on the onset of cardiovascular disease.
Benecol proven to lower cholesterol
Raisio's Benecol products are proven to lower cholesterol. The strongest possible European disease health claim granted to foods is permitted in the marketing of Benecol products. According to this health claim, Benecol's active ingredient, plant stanol ester, lowers blood cholesterol and elevated cholesterol is the risk factor for coronary heart disease. This kind of disease risk reduction health claim has been granted to only a few food ingredients.