OBJECTIVE: This EAS Consensus Panel critically appraised evidence benefit to risk relationship of functional foods with added plant plant stanols, as components of a healthy lifestyle, to reduce plasma lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, and thereby lower cardiovascular METHODS AND RESULTS: Plant sterols/stanols (when taken at 2 g/day) cause significant inhibition of cholesterol absorption and lower LDL-C levels between 8 and 10%. The relative proportions of cholesterol versus levels are similar in both plasma and tissue, with levels of being 500-/10,000-fold lower than those of cholesterol, suggesting they handled similarly to cholesterol in most cells. Despite possible of marked elevations in circulating levels of plant sterols/stanols, effects have been observed in some animal models of atherosclerosis. plasma levels of plant sterols/stanols associated with intakes of 2 have not been linked to adverse effects on health in long-term human Importantly, at this dose, plant sterol/stanol-mediated LDL-C lowering additive to that of statins in dyslipidaemic subjects, equivalent to dose of statin. The reported 6-9% lowering of plasma triglyceride by 2 hypertriglyceridaemic patients warrants further evaluation. CONCLUSION: LDL-C lowering and the absence of adverse signals, this EAS Consensus concludes that functional foods with plant sterols/stanols may be in individuals with high cholesterol levels at intermediate or low cardiovascular risk who do not qualify for pharmacotherapy, 2) as an pharmacologic therapy in high and very high risk patients who fail to LDL-C targets on statins or are statin- intolerant, 3) and in adults and (>6 years) with familial hypercholesterolaemia, in line with current However, it must be acknowledged that there are no randomised, clinical trial data with hard end-points to establish clinical benefit use of plant sterols or plant stanols.