Benecol®  Clinically proven



Efficacy proven in more than 70 clinical studies

Plant stanol ester's cholesterol-lowering effect has been proven in over 70 clinical studies of various populations, patient groups, diets and product formats. The landmark study first showing the 12 month sustained cholesterol-lowering effect of Plant stanol ester was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 19951. Since then, scientific research on Plant stanol ester has been active (see the list of references).

Plant stanol ester has been proven to reduce cholesterol in a number of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials. The cholesterol-lowering effect has been proven with the following subjects or conditions:

  1. Healthy normocholesterolemic and hypercholesterolemic individuals
  2. Men, women and children of different ages
  3. Patients with
    • type 1 or type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome
    • coronary heart disease
    • familial hypercholesterolemia
  4. In connection with a habitual diet and a strict cholesterol-lowering diet
  5. In combination with cholesterol-lowering statin therapy
  6. Populations from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia
  7. When Plant stanol ester has been added to different types of foods, such as yogurt mini-drinks, margarines and spreads, cereal products, spoonable yogurts and soy-based products

These studies show that a daily intake of 1.5-3 grams of plant stanols (as Plant stanol ester) reduces serum total and LDL cholesterol levels dose-dependently by an average of 10%, without any effect on HDL cholesterol. The effect of Plant stanol ester on cholesterol levels becomes evident within 2-3 weeks of daily consumption. The effect is sustained as long as the products are used daily.1

1. Miettinen et al. N Engl J Med 1995

Fast and sustained cholesterol reduction

The benefits of adding foods or food supplements with added Plant stanol ester to diets become evident in cholesterol measurements within 2–3 weeks of continuous use.1–3 Importantly, however, the cholesterol-lowering effect is maintained only for as long as the use of Benecol® products is continued.4–6

1. Hallikainen BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2002 2.Mensink et al. Atherosclerosis 2002 3. Noakes et al Am J Clin Nutr 2002 4. Miettinen et al. N Engl J Med 1995 5. De Jong et al. Br J Nutr 2008 6. Parraga-Martinez et al. Rev Esp Cardiol 2014

Benecol® complements other dietary changes

Plant stanol ester lowers cholesterol effectively if added to any type of the diet. The effect remains clear irrespective of the fat content or quality of the habitual diet and regardless of whether the intake of dietary cholesterol is high or low.e.g. 1-3

The main characteristics of a cholesterol-lowering diet are:

1) Reduced intake of saturated fats and trans fats with replacement by with unsaturated fats

2) High intake of dietary (soluble) fibre 

3) Use of foods with added Plant stanol ester.e.g. 4,5

Adapting any of these changes is beneficial, but together they deliver the best results.1

1. Hallikainen et Uusitupa Am J Clin Nutr 1999 2. Miettinen et al Am J Clin Nutr 1995 3. Athyros et al. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2011 4. International Atherosclerosis Society, 2013 5. European Society of Cardiology, 2016 

1. Blair at al. Am J Cardiol 2000 2. Gylling & Miettinen, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2002 3. Plat et al. J Nutr 2009 4. De Jong et al. Br J of Nutr 2008 5. Gylling et al. Atherosclerosis 2014

Plant stanol ester complements the effect of statin medication

Plant stanol ester containing Benecol products can be recommended also to patients on cholesterol-lowering statin medication. Adding Benecol products to the diet of patients already on statin medication provides an added effect of 10% to LDL cholesterol reduction.1-4 The cholesterol-lowering effect of Plant stanol ester is sustained also by patients on statin treatment.4

The cholesterol lowering mechanism of statins and Plant stanol ester is different. Statins inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, whereas plant stanols reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. A greater reduction of cholesterol can be achieved by combining Plant stanol ester containing products with statin treatment rather than by doubling the dose of statin, which generally produces an added effect of only about 6%.5


Effective cholesterol reduction in different subject groups: Diabetes

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of developing CVD. Therefore, it is essential to manage their risk factors effectively. Plant stanol ester in Benecol yogurt drinks effectively reduces serum cholesterol levels of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients.1-4 Plant stanol ester is recommended for the cholesterol management of type 1 and type 2 diabetics, for example, in the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation.5,6

1. Hallikainen et al. Atherosclerosis 2008 2. Hallikainen et al. Atherosclerosis 2011 3. Gylling & Miettinen, Diabetologia 1994 4. Gylling & Miettinen, J Lipid Res 1996 5. ADA. Diabetes Care 2016 6. ADA/ACC J Am Coll Cardiol 2008

Effective cholesterol reduction in different subject groups: Patients with coronary artery disease

When a patient is diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, a strict medical plan is initiated to control all modifiable risk factors. In addition to medication, following a healthy diet lowers the risk of cardiovascular events further.1 Plant stanol ester is an effective means of lowering serum total and LDL cholesterol in combination with medication and other lifestyle modifications, also in secondary prevention.2-4

1. Dehghan et al. Circulation 2012 2. Gylling et al. Circulation 1997 3. Gylling et al. Menopause 2006 4.ADA/ACC. J Am Coll Cardiol 2008

Effective cholesterol reduction in different subject groups: Familial hypercholesterolemia

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic disease in which serum cholesterol level is elevated due to an inherited dysfunction of the LDL receptors. The efficacy and safety of using Benecol foods has been shown both in adults and children with FH.1-4

1. Vuorio et al. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2000 2. Gylling et al. J Lipid Res 1995 3. Ketomäki et al. Clin Chim Acta 2004 4.Ketomäki et al Clin Chim Acta 2005