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IPSSA Call for Action on World Health Day: Measure Your Cholesterol!


07 Apr 2016


Health & Consumers

Brussels, 7 April:  Today is World Health Day, a milestone that has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and this year the focus is on diabetes. According to WHO about 350 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 90% of diabetes cases are type 2[1].

The International Plant Sterols and Stanols Association (IPSSA), the leading association in the sector of plant sterols and stanols comprised of the major international companies (Arboris, BASF, Cargill, Danone, Raisio, Unilever), fully supports the goals of WHO this World Health Day to combat diabetes.

We would therefore like to use the opportunity of this milestone date to make a call for action and to ask diabetics and people in the general population to measure their cholesterol and take action to reduce or maintain at normal their LDL-cholesterol levels.

Elevated LDL-cholesterol has no physical symptoms that could alert someone and yet it is a significant heart disease risk factor. Diabetics in particular, but also the general population, need to take action as early as possible and measure their cholesterol through a simple blood test. The good news is that through a healthy and active lifestyle and a diet – essential for diabetics  –  LDL-cholesterol  levels  can  be  lowered  significantly,  Geert  van  Poppel,  IPSSA Chairman  comments.  But  people  must  take  action,  measure,  and  become  aware  of  their cholesterol levels sooner rather than later, he concludes.

We believe that awareness of their cholesterol level is an important step for diabetics as:

  1. People  with  diabetes  are at  increased  risk  for  cardiovascular  diseases,  such  as coronary heart disease[2]
  2. Adults with diabetes are about two to four times more likely to have heart disease than adults without diabetes[3]
  3. A key problem in people with diabetes is in fact dyslipidaemia, characterised by too much LDL ("bad") cholesterol, not enough HDL ("good") cholesterol, and high triglycerides next to high blood pressure, risk factors for heart disease
  4. Therefore,  it  is  very  important  that  cardiovascular risk  factors,  such  as  LDLcholesterol, are optimally managed
  5. LDL-cholesterol goals for people with diabetes are  stricter than for people without diabetes, which is why it is extremely important that all effective measures to reduce LDL-cholesterol are taken[4]:

·         The  goal  for  LDL-cholesterol  in  people  with  diabetes  is  according  to current guidelines <2.5 mmol/l (less than  ˜100 mg/dl) or <1.8 mmol/l (less than ˜70 mg/dl)

·         The general LDL-C goal for healthy individuals is <3.0 mmol/l (less than ˜115 mg/dl)

  1. It  has  been  scientifically  proven  that  a  daily  consumption  of  foods  and  food supplements with 1.5 – 3.0g of added plant sterols  or stanols can lower blood LDLcholesterol dose-dependently by 7-12.5% in 2-3 weeks as part of the daily diet[5]

Diabetes, a global and EU epidemic, is a preventable (type 2) and manageable condition (all types) if people take early action. The WHO is thisyear working with governments and civil society partners to increase awareness about the rise of diabetes and trigger a set of specific, effective, and affordable actions to tackle the disease which carries a huge economic toll on all countries but in particular middle and low-income ones. The main message of WHO that IPSSA  fully  subscribes  to  is  that  a  large  number  of diabetes  cases  are  preventable while diabetes  itself is treatable.  See more at


About the International Plant Sterols and Stanols Association (IPSSA):

We are an association of global companies in the sector of plant sterols and stanols and our members are: Arboris,  BASF,  Cargill,  Danone,  Raisio, and  Unilever. Plant sterols and stanols are abundant in nature and provide cholesterol-lowering properties. It has been scientifically proven and recognized by regulatory authorities around the world that a daily consumption of foods and food supplements with 1.5 – 3.0g of added plant sterols or stanols can lower blood LDL-cholesterol dose-dependently by 7-12.5% in 2-3 weeks as part of the daily diet. Our mission is to educate media, policy makers and the  public about the efficacy and safety of eating plant sterols and stanols as part of a balanced diet to lower raised cholesterol.

For more information, please contact:

Konstantinos Maragkakis

Communications Manager and Spokesperson

+32 472 280 742 (Mobile)