(HealthDay News) — A suite of ready-to-eat bioactive snacks can meaningfully reduce cholesterol in patients unwilling or unable to take statin drugs, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Stephen L. Kopecky, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues evaluated the effect of snacks containing a compendium of functional bioactives (≥5 g fiber, 1000 mg ω-3 fatty acids, 1000 mg phytosterols, and 1,800 μmol antioxidants per serving) on fasting low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in statin candidates unwilling to use or intolerant to statin drugs. For 4 weeks, 18 men and 36 women used these ready-to-eat snacks as a substitute twice daily.

The researchers found that LDL cholesterol was lowered by a mean of 8.80% and total cholesterol dropped a mean of 5.08% with treatment foods versus control foods. No other analytes changed with the treatment snacks. There were no significant associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms and outcomes. Compliance with study snacks was 95%.

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“Consumption of hedonically acceptable snacks containing a compendium of cholesterol-lowering bioactive compounds can rapidly and meaningfully reduce LDL cholesterol in adult patients unable or unwilling to take statin drugs,” the authors write.

Authors report financial ties to the food industry, including Step One Foods, which provided the trial foods.

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