Plant sterols, marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids and other functional ingredients: a new frontier for treating hyperlipidemiaAuthor(s): Marinangeli Christopher | Jones Peter
Journal: Nutrition & Metabolism ISSN 1743-7075
Volume: 7; Issue: 1; Start page: 76; Date: 2010;
Abstract As hyperlipidemia, including hypercholesterolemia (HC) and hypertriglyceridemia (HTN), continue to challenge North America's healthcare systems, patients continue to seek efficacious and safe natural therapies that complement pharmaceutical interventions. However, despite the ever-growing body of research supporting the use of functional foods and nutraceuticals (FFN) for the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia, reception amongst the medical community regarding the implementation of FFN into clinical guidelines continues to lag. Research demonstrates that specific FFN target and modulate molecular processes that perpetuate hyperlipidemia. In addition, studies consistently demonstrate that combining certain FFN such as marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids or plant sterols/stanols with statins enhances triglyceride and cholesterol-lowering efficacy, respectively. Thus, the purpose of this commentary is to contend that efficacious FFN not only reduce HC and HTG but also boost the lipid-lowering effects of pharmaceutical hypolipidemic medications. Finally, this editorial aims to challenge current medical guidelines to emphasize efficacious FFN during all stages of treatment of hyperlipidemias as adjuncts to pharmacotherapy.