According to the World Health Organization (WHO)* cardiovascular disease affects 40% of the world population and has a high mortality rate. However, It can be prevented 80% of the time by modifying patients’ lifestyles: eating healthy food, doing exercise, and smoking less. Currently, plant sterols offer a natural way for people to lower their cholesterol, and they can be found in certain foods of vegetable origin. Their effectiveness has been demonstrated; however, regular dietary consumption is not enough as diet alone is not enough to reach the minimum recommended amount to yield real results on cardiovascular health.
There is a number of products that offer a solution for lowering high cholesterol levels, ranging from drugs (statins) to natural food supplements:
Statin intake has increased over the last 50 years and they have become well known all over the world. The benefits of statins for lowering LDL cholesterol in the short term are indisputable, compared to most products on the market today.
Despite their effectiveness, several studies have proven that they can produce a number of side effects ranging from important to serious, depending on the clinical history of each patient. This has led to questioning and special attention on the part of the World Health Organization (WHO), the medical community, and consumers themselves.
Between 10% and 15% of patients who take statins report side effects. The most prevalent is muscle pain, which appears in up to 30% of patients (depending on the measuring method)*. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of the side effects of statins are:
Confusion and memory loss
Increased blood sugar or diabetes
If the dose is higher than required, results may not improve but these side effects can worsen. Additionally, statin consumption is contraindicated in patients under 18 and pregnant women.
The questions we should now be asking are:
What alternatives are there today to safely lower cholesterol in children and minors?
Is it necessary to risk having side effects when fighting cholesterol in patients with no critical risk?
(*) American College of Cardiology, accessed Feb 2020:
2. RED YEAST RICE (RYR) EXTRACT (NATURAL STATIN)
This option is widely known in Europe. RYR extract is a type of statin (lovastatin); therefore, its regulation as medicine instead of food supplement is being questioned. Some countries have banned and/or restricted its use, including Switzerland, the United States, and Belgium, due to its multiple health consequences*.
We should consider these questions:
Is it safe to use, considering these consequences and prohibitions?
Is it safe to use a product with international alerts?
Is it possible to determine the exact amount of monacolin K in RYR products to avoid adverse reactions and secondary effects?
(*) The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES).
3. MARGARINE & YOGURT
Plant sterols have traditionally been added to certain foods by mixing them into fats, specifically dairy products like margarine and yogurt. These are important nutritional supplements; however, it is very hard to get consumers to take the recommended 2-gram dose every day. Additionally, foods with trans fats end up stored in adipose tissues and may result in inflammation and hypertension, and the risk of cardiovascular disease increases. And in the case of margarine, for instance, patients would have to consume the equivalent of two golf balls every day.
(*) Average intake of plant sterols in a vegetarian diet is 200 to 400 mg.
The questions we should be asking are:
Are current delivery formats effective in keeping consumption habits?
Is it necessary to eat two golf balls of margarine to obtain benefits from plant sterols?
Are there any alternatives that contain the recommended plant sterol dose in non-fat products?
(*) British Journal of Nutrition (2014), 112, 214.
4. OMEGA 3
Omega 3 is a well-known healthy food supplement used in various different therapies. It is widely available for consumers and there are different foods that contain omega 3, including fish.
Although the FDA and EFSA recommend using omega 3 in patients with high triglycerides to reduce their levels, they warn consumers of an increase in LDL cholesterol.
We should consider these questions:
Is omega 3 enough for our objective of contributing to people’s life quality and heart protection?
Are there any other alternatives today for lowering triglycerides without increasing their cholesterol?
CARDIOSMILE: A NATURAL, EFFECTIVE AND VERSATILE ALTERNATIVE
CARDIOSMILE has the potential and proven qualities to stand out due to its benefits, and it meets the initial objective of protecting cardiovascular health. Why should we prefer CARDIOSMILE over other alternatives present on the market?
Because its competitive advantages are verifiable:
CARDIOSMILE’s sterols are dispersible and can be mixed into any food preparation, preferably into liquids. It is odorless and tasteless, which contributes to a more pleasant experience for consumers, who can easily incorporate it into their daily habits. CARDIOSMILE’s format is also versatile and can be carried anywhere. It has an imperceptible taste, unlike tablets and other current formats. People can choose whether to take 8 tablets a day or only one CARDIOSMILE sachet.
CARDIOSMILE has no proven side effects, which makes it the preferred option for a growing number of consumers and the medical community.
Supported by clinical studies, CARDIOSMILE directly competes with traditional products in the pharmaceutical industry. Although statins are more effective in lowering LDL cholesterol, CARDIOSMILE also lowers triglycerides.
CARDIOSMILE works in the intestine; therefore, it can be combined with statins, which work in the liver. This joint work is cumulative, which means that their benefits are greater when used together. For instance, if statins lower cholesterol by an average of 32% and CARDIOSMILE lowers cholesterol by an average of 12%, when taken together LDL cholesterol would be reduced by 55%. If we wanted to reach the same results using only statins, such as 10mg atorvastatin, we would have to increase its consumption eightfold, which could amplify side effects.
CARDIOSMILE is sugar, fat, sodium, calorie, gluten, and lactose free. It is safe for people with food allergies and can be taken by children from the age of 5.
In Chile CARDIOSMILE reached 30% of the plant sterol market in its first year (2016) and has a 30% annual growth rate.
Today it is the plant sterol-based product most recommended by doctors in Chile.
86% of Chilean consumers trust the brand “very much” or “completely” (compared to 31% average in food brands).
18% prescribing specialists in France (50 doctors and 12 nutritionists) would prefer CARDIOSMILE as first treatment option (considering a retail price of EUR 30. 23% would choose statins).
27% potential customers in the United States highly value the product and would be willing to pay for its consumption (considering a retail price of USD 35).
(*) Study by WHO: http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/cholesterol_text/en/
(*) Private studies, CARDIOSMILE. Available on request