(January 15, 2012)
Today I heard an add for a new yogurt and decided to check it out …
Apparently there has been some research (according to the company making the yogurt three studies, but when I checked I found that apparently two of them are the same study) where they found that a plant material, phytosterol, lowers LDL in the blood.
I started to read one of the studies and found that the fundings for the research came from “Danone research” in France … I continued to read. I also found that they didn’t really measure the LDL but used the Friedewald equation to calculate the values. It means that first of all the numbers aren’t precise (the Friedewald equation is a formula which only gives an estimate of the LDL level) and second you never know whether it is big or small LDL, and so on. But, it’s probably also true that phytosterols can reduce LDL. That’s good, right?
- Phytosterols aren’t a natural substance to the body. (LDL is!) Phytosterol is a substance that resembles cholesterol. The intestine absorbs it from the food rather than absorbing the choelsterol, and then the cells are built with phytosterols instead of cholesterol. That’s good, if we were plants …
- The LDL level itself doesn’t show a risk factor for heart disease – Low levels of HDL and high triglycerides levels do.
- LDL has a role in the body (to lead cholesterol from the cells back to the liver for break down and recycling) and a high level is mainly an indicator that something else is wrong in the body. Often it’s inflammation related. (And inflammations are associated with heart disease …)
And here are some questions and comments that come to my mind:
- Previously it’s been seen that Phytosterol is active with fatty foods. Here they wanted to test the activity with low-fat yogurt. Why? Could there be too much low-fat yogurt in the company and they wanted to get rid of it?
- I checked the yogurt’s ingredients – About 15 different things. Why? Real yogurt is fermented milk, and that’s it. (Maybe a little cream or fruit for flavor or something, so let’s say we’ll get to maximum three components …)
- It’s nicely written that the yogurt has “no added sugar” – But there are, among others, corn starch, Aspartame and Acesulfame K. Maybe it would be better to have natural sugar?
And the question – Why at all start to eat “yogurt look alike” that will raise triglycerides (which is not good for the heart)? Give me real yogurt, with it’s natural fats, non-flavoured so that I can add whatever fruits pleases me! Why am I being discriminated?