Give me two minutes, and I’ll tell you whether Benecol works. We wrote an in-depth review, examining the side effects, ingredients, clinical studies, and overall customer service. We additionally read dozens of user comments posted online. Lastly, we condensed everything we found to give you the information you need. We realize the journey can be long and hard, which is why we aim to provide you with just the facts. Does Benecol have a connection to weight-loss? Maybe.
Benecol is a functional food line produced by Raisio, a Finnish company that is a market leader for functional meals.
After ten years in the market, Benecol is available in 30 countries, mainly in Europe. Benecol has the broadest range of international food products, including innovative margarine, dairy products, snack foods, pasta, soups, and prepared meals, all designed to help reduce cholesterol levels.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the research surrounding Benecol and its inclusion in other food products:
Lipids in Health and Disease: A study using yogurt drinks containing Benecol as an active ingredient found the drink was able to lower cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol: Snack foods containing Benecol are able to lower LDL cholesterol levels without affecting HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Western Journal of Medicine: Plant stanols and stanol margarine like Benecol may have an important role in improving heart health, but only if prices for the product lower.
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
= Initial product cost is less than $5
= Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
= Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
= Initial product cost is $151 or more
Benecol and a Healthy Diet
Phytostanol is a natural compound found in whole grains and cereals. However, the levels seen in plants are usually too low to provide significant health benefits.
Raisio patented its use of refined phytostanol foods in the early 1990s. It is refined by a proprietary process designed to bring out phytostanol’s cholesterol-reducing powers, without side effects.
Raisio has developed margarine, which includes Benecol, to have the most favorable nutritional profile of any margarine on the market. It is expected that future developments will improve these characteristics as new Benecol products will appear with lower amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, combined with higher levels of beneficial unsaturated fatty acids.
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Wide Range of Benecol Products
One of the main advantages of phytostanol is its ability to incorporate virtually any food product, including most labeled as low-fat or fat-free, such as yogurt, liquid yogurt, milk, etc. The dose of Benecol depends on the typical daily consumption of the product in question. It has no odor or taste and has most of the physical and chemical properties of fat. Its shelf life is equivalent to that of most edible oils and fats.
Raisio manages the Benecol brand’s licenses and sells the active Benecol ingredient to food companies around the world.
The First of Its Kind
The dynamic opportunities for including Benecol in products were highlighted by Benecol’s dairy partner in Switzerland, Emmi. Together, they launched the world’s first cholesterol-lowering milk yogurt. This was a particular coup as it extended Benecol into the range of probiotic foods, a key market. Since the launch of the first liquid yogurt, Benecol has gained popularity throughout Europe, attracting consumers who want convenient and tasty dietary means to help them reduce their cholesterol.
Benecol Promoting Better Health
Benecol is the primary product range from Raisio Life Sciences, a company specializing in the development and production of food ingredients with health benefits, including using nutritional methods to fight against problems such as allergies.
These Are the Six Most Frequent Myths About Cholesterol
What, in the constellation of myths of surrounding cholesterol, is true? Here are six tips to clarify some of the confusion about the role it plays in our bodies.
1. There is good and bad cholesterol
Cholesterol is a single lipid molecule found in the bloodstream that travels to different cells or flows in the intestinal system’s direction to be expelled from the body. It is thought that it is imperative to strike a balance between the cholesterol entering the body and that being excreted, such that the levels in the blood do not exceed 200 mg per 100 milliliters of blood (mg/dl).
Ideally, the cholesterol entering the body does not exceed 150 mg/dl and that it does not leave at a rate higher than 40 mg/dl. If this balance is maintained, good health is maintained, while if there is an imbalance, people are considered to have bad cholesterol.
2. Eating meats and sausages increase the danger of cholesterol
Overeating anything is bad, of course, but animal fats do not directly increase the proportion of cholesterol in the blood, at least not just by being ingested. More and more studies point out that cholesterol levels are not directly related to the intake of animal fats, regardless of how rich they are in cholesterol. This is because most of the ingested and absorbed cholesterol through the intestine is metabolized, broken down to be used by the body in other ways. Thus, most of the cholesterol in the blood is synthesized by our bodies, and this synthesis is not influenced by the number of fats consumed.
3. Dairy products and eggs have an impact on cholesterol
The same is true of fats from dairy or egg products as, even though they are high in calories, they do not directly influence the amount of cholesterol in the blood, according to the journal Cholesterol. It is possible to be overweight without showing an alarming amount of bad cholesterol due to genetic factors or fatty foods’ ingestion.
4. Drinking Danacoles and Benecoles Lower Cholesterol
It is true that products such as Danacol and Benecol lower the amount of cholesterol that enters the bloodstream as long as they are taken in recommended doses, and not for more than two days. It is not recommended that adults who are taking medication or are pregnant ingest these things, as they are high in phytosterols, which block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
This works by blocking 10% of the body’s cholesterol absorption, which lowers the body’s natural 20% absorption rate. Cholesterol normally is absorbed and used by the body to manufacture vitamin D, among other things. It is unknown if the decrease in the rates of absorption has some long-term negative impacts, such as on the body’s ability to synthesize these important chemicals.
On the other hand, when a person stops taking products enriched with phytosterols, their body’s natural processes will readjust, raising the cholesterol to previous levels. The best way to ingest phytosterols, though, is to include them in a diet high in fiber, through the addition of fruits and vegetables.
5. Cholesterol is a toxin that must be avoided
It is one of the most important metabolites our bodies possess. It is involved in the construction of cell membranes, the creation of bile salts, the generation of vitamin D, the production of sex hormones, and the production of Corticosteroids. It is also an important food for the flora of the intestine.
How Benecol Fights Cholesterol
Benecol is a plant-based addition to sterol products that act against cholesterol, LDL, and other bad forms. It works to reduce cholesterol efficiency in just three weeks, thus operating against hypercholesterolemia. It is made from fermented milk, which means it is a good addition to other dairy-based ferments containing plant sterols. These plant sterols occur naturally in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, making it a great treatment for hypercholesterolemia.
The plant sterols reduce the absorption of cholesterol by the body by 75%. This increases the synthesis of the apolipoprotein HDL, which facilitates good cholesterol. One unit of Benecol contains 1.6 g. of sterols, which reduces cholesterol levels in three weeks. It is important to include a variety of fiber-rich foods, such as more fruits and vegetables, in addition to Benecol.
Sterols and Stanols in Two Words
First, as noted above, are the phytosterols. It is quite well documented that these phytosterols compete with cholesterol in food such that, when sterol or stanol-rich food is ingested, these components are absorbed instead of the cholesterol.
However, in addition to finding them in the aforementioned functional foods that “lower cholesterol,” these phytosterols are naturally present in various fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, and vegetable oils. The same is true of the stanols, but they are found in even smaller amounts than sterols.
Can Benecol Improve Health?
The truth is that all this sounds very nice, and, based on the fact that the brands have been hammering these facts in over fifteen years, the average consumer likely believes it. “If I have high blood cholesterol levels, and I take some milk-cabbage type product that helps to block cholesterol absorption from food… then my cholesterol will fall, and my cardiovascular risk will decrease.”
Sounds good, very good, right? But unfortunately, it is not proven. If one day someone analyses the impact of these products on global health… the result will be quite murky. There are two key burning issues:
Leaving aside the presumed benefits, it is not clear that incorporating sterols and stanols into a diet by eating functional foods enriched in these elements is risk-free…. It may yet be revealed that they are doing more harm than good.
The fact that including these products in your diet helps reduce your cholesterol is more or less clear. It is far less clear that that has a clinically observable effect on cardiovascular health, and further study is necessary.
On May 15, 2019, Benecol was hit with a class-action lawsuit with claims the product contained trans fats, despite promoting the fact that contains no trans fats, according to Top Class Action.
The lawsuit claims that the product contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which contains trans fats.
So Why People Are Using Benecol?
Recall that, in this case, the “serious knowledge” about cholesterol was forged in the interest of a specific industry. The work of hundreds, or thousands, of advertising strategies, has worked perfectly to convince the consumer that buying these functional foods will positively impact their cardiovascular health. However, there is not much that has been fully proven.
At present, there is a special sensitivity in the world to research concerning subjects like cholesterol, cardiovascular health, sterols, and stanols. There is plenty of information about these things in editorials of the Cardiovascular Safety of Plant Sterol and Stanol Consumption journal which summarize, in an obvious way, the impacts of these compounds on cardiovascular health:
Although links have been made between cardiovascular health and the levels of plant sterols and stanols present in functional foods, there has been no conclusive evidence to support this.
There has also been no evidence. However, including these has no negative impact either.
As mentioned above, cholesterol in a person’s diet has minimal impact on a person’s cholesterol levels. This raises the question of why one would add a unique milk-cabbage product to an already healthy diet?
For several years now, it has been understood that cholesterol levels in the bloodstream are not a good way of measuring cardiovascular risk. This is even acknowledged in the advertisements for these products, although in a way that still entices us to buy them. Other measures, such as the proportion of various lipoproteins and other lipid metabolism elements, are now seen as better determinants of cardiovascular health. So much for the simplicity of the 200 mg/dl measure.
Those who are bothered by their high cholesterol levels can go to the supermarket and buy any one of many targeted products. Consumers interested in these products, which are designed to lower LDL cholesterol in heart health, are most likely to use proactive margarine from Unilever.
Besides Danacol and Benecol products, there is also the possibility of drinking yogurt enriched with plant sterols. These products adorn themselves with various health claims, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found some of these to be effective.
However, plant substances have come under some criticism. Consumer advocate groups, like Foodwatch, have argued that these products, due to their strength, should only be sold in pharmacies. This is to cut down on their use by those who do not have pathologically elevated cholesterol levels. Indeed, a recent Belgian revealed that every fifth Flemish preschooler takes these products!
“The products simply have a healthy image,” says Birgit Niemann, a scientist at the Federal Institute for Risk Research (Bfr). Heart health specialists are also critical as, after all, phytosterols are highly effective substances that could potentially be dangerous. “Just because the fabrics are natural does not mean that they are automatically healthy and safe,” warns Oliver Weingartner of Saarland University.
What Users Are Saying
What Users Are Saying
“A Healthier option, but still tastes great. – It tastes great.”
“Well …… for starters guys you could sort out the issue with exploding plastic bottles. I think I have given you enough opportunity to do this since my first communication with you back in December 2020.
You mentioned in your response that “There was an error in our production line which caused yeast contamination . Yeast contamination caused fermentation and then added no health risk BUT do not recommend using the fermented yogurt drink Whatever all that means! Sort out the problem and provide a product that is manufactured to the highest standards and is safe to use. Don’t know who reads this but maybe ACTION now would be preferred. If you can’t sort it out then take it of the shelves until you do.”
“Product is great. But too expensive.”
The Bottom Line on Benecol
We are excited to see that Benecol spreads, chews, and cereals can potentially help people lower their bad cholesterol levels to improve heart health. But, we’d like to see a stronger focus on dietary changes that could also help weight-loss. There is a direct connection between losing and improving overall health. Plus, we’ve got negative reviews and problems with taste to consider.
For dieters who need to slim down and drop pounds of fat, we suggest partnering a product like Benecol with a clinically tested weight-loss program that’s backed by some amazing customer testimonials.
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Yes, Benecol contains 0.5g of trans-fat per serving.
How many calories are in Benecol?
The calories in Benecol chews are 20 per serving and the spread contains 70 per serving.
How many grams of sugar are in Benecol?
Each serving of Benecol contains 3.5g of sugar.
Is Benecol gluten-free?
Yes, Benecol is gluten-free.
Is Benecol dairy-free?
Yes, Benecol is dairy-free. The products don’t contain any dairy by-products.
Does Benecol come with a guarantee?
Benecol doesn’t come with a guarantee, considering the supplement isn’t available on the official website. You will need to check the return policy of the retailer where you purchased the product from.
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What is in Benecol?
Benecol consists of a variety of foods that contain Plant Stanol Ester, a patented ingredient, which is proven to lower cholesterol in the body over time. It is found in different types of spreads, yogurt beverages, and yogurt.
How does Benecol lower cholesterol?
Benecol is proven to lower LDL cholesterol by seven to 10% in two to three weeks when consuming 1.5-2.4 grams of plant stanols daily. It can lower cholesterol while also maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Who owns Benecol?
Benecol is owned by Raisio Group, which is a Finnish company that owns the trademark.