Healthy heart campaign: IPSSA launches 'Voices for Cholesterol' initiative

By Tim Cutcliffe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Healthy heart campaign: IPSSA launches 'Voices for Cholesterol' initiative

Related tags: Nutrition, Atherosclerosis

The International Plant Sterols and Stanols Association (IPSSA) is today launching an initiative to provide more information on the importance of LDL- cholesterol as a key modifiable risk factor for heart disease, and what people can do in general to reduce their risk.

IPSSA is an association made up of five companies Arboris, BASF, Cargill, Raisio, and Unilever. A key objective of the association is to help educate the public on the risks of blood LDL-cholesterol and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The ‘Voices for Cholesterol’ will be driven through a web-based platform which is designed to raise public awareness of the major risk elevated blood LDL-cholesterol carries for developing CVD. The campaign will bring together voices of leading global experts in the field of cardiovascular disease, prevention and diet and lifestyle.

IPSSA has invited scientists and clinicians at the forefront of cardiovascular disease and blood LDL-cholesterol research to participate. Additionally, the campaign will involve members and leaders of international societies and associations, dieticians and healthcare practitioners who are on the front lines of helping consumers towards better health.

Videos with accessible information

Numerous leading academics, clinicians and policy makers can be seen on the website, presenting a variety of videos which provide information in readily understandable language. The videos cover various topics including CVD as a public health threat, elevated blood cholesterol as a key modifiable risk factor in the development of CVD, and the role of foods with added plant sterols and stanols as a means to efficiently and safely lower blood LDL-cholesterol as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

As a taster of what is available on the website, you can watch one of these videos entitled “What is the role of blood cholesterol in coronary heart disease?” ​ presented by Professor John Chapman, Director Emeritus INSERM Professor Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris.

Further views from the experts

From the public health perspective, “Cardiovascular condition is extremely important to the well-being of human beings and we should tackle and focus very strongly on this,”​ said Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, member of the ENVI Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

On the issue of elevated cholesterol being a key risk factor in CVD development, “The level of cholesterol in your blood is an indicator of your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  The higher the cholesterol level the higher the risk of developing atherosclerosis,”​ commented Professor Guy de Backer, Honorary Professor of Medicine, Ghent University.

The importance of the role of food containing plant sterols and stanols in reducing CVD risk at a population is therefore significant. “The uniqueness of plant sterols and stanols is that they reduce the uptake of cholesterol from the dietary tract. That leads to a cholesterol-lowering effect in the blood especially the bad LDL-cholesterol,”​ explained Professor Ingmar Wester, Research & Development Director, Benecol Unit, Raisio Group, Finland.

Key messages

The Voices for Cholesterol campaign can be accessed here​ and carries four key messages:

  • Blood LDL-cholesterol is a key modifiable risk factor for heart disease
  • The important first step is to become aware of blood LDL-cholesterol level and decide to act
  • A healthier diet and more active lifestyle can help in lowering and keeping blood cholesterol at desirable levels
  • Food and food supplements with added plant sterols/stanols as part of a daily diet can effectively lower blood cholesterol.

The campaign is an ongoing one and IPSSA will be adding more voices to the website,and encourage people to visit the platform on a regular basis for updates.

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