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IPSSA Call for Action on World Health Day: Measure Your Cholesterol!

Brussels, 7 April: Today is World Health Day, a milestone that has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and this year the focus is on diabetes. According to WHO about 350 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 90% of diabetes cases are type 2[1].

The International Plant Sterols and Stanols Association (IPSSA), the leading association in the sector of plant sterols and stanols comprised of the major international companies (Arboris, BASF, Cargill, Danone, Raisio, Unilever), fully supports the goals of WHO this World Health Day to combat diabetes.

We would therefore like to use the opportunity of this milestone date to make a call for action and to ask diabetics and people in the general population to measure their cholesterol and take action to reduce or maintain at normal their LDL-cholesterol levels.

Elevated LDL-cholesterol has no physical symptoms that could alert someone and yet it is a significant heart disease risk factor. Diabetics in particular, but also the general population, need to take action as early as possible and measure their cholesterol through a simple blood test. The good news is that through a healthy and active lifestyle and a diet – essential for diabetics – LDL-cholesterol levels can be lowered significantly, Geert van Poppel, IPSSA Chairman comments. But people must take action, measure, and become aware of their cholesterol levels sooner rather than later, he concludes.

We believe that awareness of their cholesterol level is an important step for diabetics as:

  1. People with diabetes are at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease[2]
  2. Adults with diabetes are about two to four times more likely to have heart disease than adults without diabetes[3]
  3. A key problem in people with diabetes is in fact dyslipidaemia, characterised by too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, not enough HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high triglycerides next to high blood pressure, risk factors for heart disease
  4. Therefore, it is very important that cardiovascular risk factors, such as LDL-cholesterol, are optimally managed
  5. LDL-cholesterol goals for people with diabetes are stricter than for people without diabetes, which is why it is extremely important that all effective measures to reduce LDL-cholesterol are taken[4]:
    • The goal for LDL-cholesterol in people with diabetes is according to current guidelines <2.5 mmol/l (less than ˜ 100 mg/dl) or <1.8 mmol/l (less than ˜ 70 mg/dl)
    • The general LDL-C goal for healthy individuals is <3.0 mmol/l (less than ˜ 115 mg/dl)
  6. It has been scientifically proven that a daily consumption of foods and food supplements with 1.5 – 3.0g of added plant sterols or stanols can lower blood LDL-cholesterol dose-dependently by 7-12.5% in 2-3 weeks as part of the daily diet[5]

Diabetes, a global and EU epidemic, is a preventable (type 2) and manageable condition (all types) if people take early action. The WHO is this year working with governments and civil society partners to increase awareness about the rise of diabetes and trigger a set of specific, effective, and affordable actions to tackle the disease which carries a huge economic toll on all countries but in particular middle and low-income ones. The main message of WHO that IPSSA fully subscribes to is that a large number of diabetes cases are preventable while diabetes itself is treatable. See more at http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2016/en/

 

***ENDS***

 

About the International Plant Sterols and Stanols Association (IPSSA):

We are an association of global companies in the sector of plant sterols and stanols and our members are: Arboris, BASF, Cargill, Danone, Raisio, and Unilever. Plant sterols and stanols are abundant in nature and provide cholesterol-lowering properties. It has been scientifically proven and recognized by regulatory authorities around the world that a daily consumption of foods and food supplements with 1.5 – 3.0g of added plant sterols or stanols can lower blood LDL-cholesterol dose-dependently by 7-12.5% in 2-3 weeks as part of the daily diet. Our mission is to educate media, policy makers and the public about the efficacy and safety of eating plant sterols and stanols as part of a balanced diet to lower raised cholesterol.

For more information, please contact:

Konstantinos Maragkakis

Communications Manager and Spokesperson

km@ipssa-association.com

+32 472 280 742 (Mobile)

 

[1] http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2016/en/

[2] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/

[3] http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/38/9/1777.full.pdf+html

[4] http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/ehj/early/2012/05/02/eurheartj.ehs092.full.pdf

[5] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2014.182.01.0027.01.ENG

IPSSA – Bringing to the agenda plant sterols and stanols and their contribution in reducing blood LDL-cholesterol levels

BRUSSELS, 11 November 2015 – It is with great pride that we announce the launch of the International Plant Sterols and Stanols Association (IPSSA – www.ipssa-association.com) , comprised of the leading international companies in plant sterols and stanols. The IPSSA members have decided to work together to educate the public about the benefits of integrating plant sterols and stanols in the daily diet. We also aim to foster the idea of healthy diet and lifestyle choices as effective means of reducing blood LDL-cholesterol – a major risk factor for heart disease.

We at IPSSA are convinced that we can actively contribute to the public health agenda by raising awareness with policymakers and consumers.

We believe that a healthy diet and an active lifestyle can prevent high blood LDL-cholesterol which is one of the main factors in development of heart disease. It has been scientifically proven by numerous academic studies that a daily consumption of foods and food supplements with 1.5 – 3.0g of added plant sterols or stanols can lower blood LDL-cholesterol by 7-12.5% in 2-3 weeks as part of the daily diet.

Consuming, therefore, foods with added plant sterols or stanols is an effective way to contribute to the lowering of blood LDL-cholesterol. One effective way to do so is, for example, by switching the usual spreads (such as butter or margarine) or yoghurt for the spreads or yoghurt with added plant sterols and stanols.

“Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is an important priority in the EU public health agenda. We support that a healthy lifestyle and nutrition aiming at effective LDL-cholesterol lowering are key factors in the reduction of overall risk for heart disease, Geert van Poppel, Chairman of IPSSA comments. “IPSSA intends to contribute to the public debate by introducing facts about plant sterols and stanols. These come from scientific research and will help us inform and educate the public about the need to keep their LDL-cholesterol levels low and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. We also aim to convey to policymakers the message that reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease is an important component of efficient long-term public health policy and sustainable development”, Geert Van Poppel concludes.

 


 

What are plant sterols and stanols?

Plant sterols and stanols are substances that are abundant in nature, generally found in plant based foods such as vegetable oils, grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Their cholesterol-lowering properties have been known since the 1950s. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in the blood and it is essential for normal body function. It is mainly produced in the body and is transported around the blood in ‘vehicles’ called lipoproteins.

The two main types of lipoproteins are LDL and HDL with LDL-cholesterol having been proven as the type of cholesterol that in too high levels can slowly build up in the arteries, making them narrower. Therefore, too high levels of LDL-cholesterol increase significantly the risk of heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease – Some key facts:

Some facts about cardiovascular (heart) diseases according to the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from cardiovascular diseases than from any other cause[1]
  • An estimated 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke[2]
  • 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes are preventable. Healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not using tobacco products are the keys to prevention. Checking and controlling risk factors for heart disease and stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar or diabetes is also very important[3]
  • Raised cholesterol increases the risks of heart disease and stroke. Globally, a third of ischemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol. Overall, raised cholesterol is estimated to cause 2.6 million deaths (4.5% of total) and 29.7 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs), or 2.0% of total DALYs[4]

Currently, IPSSA is comprised of the following companies: Arboris, BASF, Cargill, Danone, Raisio, and Unilever.

For more information, please contact:

Konstantinos Maragkakis

Communication Manager and Spokesperson

km@ipssa-association.com

+32 472 280 742 (Mobile)

 

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/

[2] Ibid

[3] http://www.who.int/features/qa/27/en/

[4] http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/cholesterol_text/en/