Lean ground beef fortified with soybean phytosterols lowers cholesterol

Development of long-term diets for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in young men includes the promotion of cholesterol-lowering foods that are familiar and palatable enough to ensure the long-term adherence that is necessary for successful treatment. Matvienko et al., publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, conducted a trial among 34 young men with elevated cholesterol in which lean ground beef fortified with soybean phytosterols was consumed at lunch every day for 4 weeks. The men experienced significant reductions in total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and other serum lipid indicators, suggesting that fortified lean ground beef may be a healthier, lower fat alternative to other phytosterol-supplemented foods currently available.

Thirty-four subjects, all college students averaging 22 years old, had at least 3 risk factors for CVD, including mildly elevated total and LDL cholesterol. In a randomized trial, half the men consumed lean ground beef (15% fat) fortified with soybean phytosterols, and the other half consumed regular lean ground beef for lunch every day for 28 days. Compared to the control group, participants in the treatment group reduced plasma total cholesterol by 9.3%, LDL cholesterol by 14.6%, and the ratio of total to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol by 9.1% in 4 weeks.

The soybean-extracted phytosterols that were used to supplement lean ground beef in the study were similar to those used in fortified margarine spreads currently available on the market. Previous studies of diets containing soy-phytosterol fortified margarine produced declines in serum lipids similar to the current study. However, when used as directed, the margarine spreads add 12-27 g/day of extra fat to the diet without providing any other nutritional benefit. The authors point out that ground beef is the major single source of protein for young adult men and is an important source of dietary vi

Contact: Elizabeth Horowitz
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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