July 31, 2002 ROCHESTER, MINN. -- A relatively new dietary supplement called Basikol may lower total cholesterol by about 15 percent, according to the August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.
Available over the counter, Basikol consists of naturally occurring plant substances -- known as plant sterols -- derived from corn, soy and canola oil. Cholesterol-lowering food spreads Benecol and Take Control also use plant sterols and naturally occurring plant stanols.
Studies of Basikol have been small and short term. It appears to be safe and well tolerated when taken as directed. If you take a prescription drug to help lower your cholesterol, talk with your doctor about the possible added benefits of supplementing your diet with plant stanols or sterols.
Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page, monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today's health and medical news. To subscribe, please call toll-free 800-333-9037, extension 9PR1.
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