Greater focus on education required as consumers fail to spot ‘bad’ cholesterol

Most consumers do not know which kind of cholesterol is considered bad for health, new research by Lycored has shown

The global wellness company surveyed 329 dietary supplement users and found 82% were aware that there are two main forms of cholesterol, one considered ‘good’ and one considered ‘bad’.

However, when they were asked which was considered good, 58% named LDL rather than HDL. In fact, high levels of oxidised-LDL cholesterol in the blood are associated with risk of cardiovascular disease. By contrast, HDL is often known as ‘good’ cholesterol. Lycored believes the findings highlight the responsibility of manufacturers to support consumer education.

Zev Ziegler, Head of Marketing at Health at Lycored, said: “Too often, nutrition marketing is about making claims for products without considering how much the user really knows. Most consumers understand that there is ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol, but beyond that, things get a bit hazy. Our research highlights the importance of educating consumers — not just selling to them.”

Commenting on the research in a blog post, consumer nutrition expert Amie Valpone said: “There is so much ‘noise’ out there and if we do not educate ourselves about what we are putting in our body, we are giving our power away and we are lost. People want to live and eat healthier, but they need support and proper education on the subject to increase their understanding.”

Cardiomato, Lycored’s cardio-grade tomato extract, has been shown to reduce levels of oxidised LDL. The company has worked with distributors, nutritionists and clinicians on initiatives to help educate people on the role of nutrition in cardiovascular health.

Earlier this year, Lycored launched Lycopedia, an interactive educational hub which explains the health benefits of lycopene at different stages of life.

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