Many people are becoming more and more conscious about their health particularly with their heart because of the rapid increase of mortality rate of heart disease and stroke not only in America but on other nations as well. As a health conscious person, you ought to stick to eating with a heart healthy diet, perform regular exercise, promise to cut down weight and take in supplements. Many people are still left confused on what supplements to take since there are a lot of products that are sold on the market. Some of them are aired during tv commercials, some are printed in magazines and most of them are scattered across the web. So what’s the ideal supplement that will help me lower my cholesterol numbers? Keep on reading to find out. Plant Sterols and Stanols These sterols and stanols are phytosterols which are components similar to lipids or cholesterol that is found in certain plant membranes. They are naturally found in most grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes but give off a scant amount of sterols. That’s the main reason why organic and non-organic manufacturers incorporate plant sterols in their products such as margarines, yogurts, cereals and even in orange juice to help meet our needs. Mechanism of Action Why plant sterols? After long years of extensive study phytosterols show that they have cholesterol lowering properties that is helpful to managing cholesterol levels. They mainly compete with dietary (from animal products like dairy, eggs and meat) by incorporating them into the micelles in the GI or gastrointestinal tract. The sterol’s primarily function is to prevent dietary cholesterol from being absorbed by the bloodstream. Thus, the displaced bad cholesterol from the micelles goes to the liver for excretion. Safety and Effectiveness It has been over 50 years since researchers started conducting studies and experiments about the properties and effectiveness that plant sterols bring. The food and drug administration (FDA) itself had approved the efficacy of sterols in lowering LDL cholesterol. Thus, it is safe, effective and highly recommended for everyday consumption for people who are still struggling to keep their cholesterol numbers normal. Foods that possess phytosterols are very helpful to control and balance cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that a modified diet only serves as a fraction of the entire process in lowering your cholesterol numbers, you also need to stay physically active, stop smoking, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You may also want to consider in purchasing a quality supplement to easily assess your needs.