Sanitarium unveils Australian first for heart health

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Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing today unveiled an Australian-first breakfast innovation to make it easier for people to take charge of their heart health.

At a media launch this morning, held at the Heart Foundation’s East Sydney headquarters, Sanitarium announced an extension to its Weet-Bix range aimed at the one-in-three Australians who need to manage their cholesterol.

Weet-Bix Cholesterol Lowering is the first cereal product in the country to be enriched with plant sterols, which have been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol.

Dr Peter Clifton, Professor of Nutrition at the University of South Australia, led a clinical trial of the product. It found that consuming one serve of the new Weet-Bix daily for four weeks lowered the LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 9 per cent.

Panel discussion: Chris Cashman from Sanitarium (left), Professor Peter Clifton from the University of South Australia (centre) and Bill Stavreski from the Heart Foundation.

“The latest Weet-Bix cereal is the most innovative cholesterol-lowering product I’ve seen in 15 years—it’s easy, convenient and proven to work,” Dr Clifton said.

The product was developed over the past two and-a-half years and saw engineers devise new technology to ensure that two grams of plant sterols are contained in every serve (two biscuits). Plant sterols are known to naturally lower LDL cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive system. Two grams is the daily amount recommended by the Heart Foundation for those with elevated LDL cholesterol.

“High cholesterol is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease with an estimated 46 per cent of heart disease deaths in Australia being attributable to high cholesterol,” said Heart Foundation CEO Professor John Kelly.

“As such, lowering your cholesterol levels can go a long way towards improving your future heart health.”

Sanitarium CEO Kevin Jackson said it was a first for Sanitarium to have the Heart Foundation logo featured on its Weet-Bix boxes.

“We are certainly proud of the partnership that we have with the Heart Foundation,” he said.

“Sanitarium’s enduring mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of our nation and our community overall, and this mission drives our product innovation focus. We have a desire as an organisation to positively and make a real and genuine difference in people’s lives.”

Sanitarium CEO Kevin Jackson speaking at the launch.

Weet-Bix Cholesterol Lowering looks and tastes the same as regular Weet-Bix. It is hitting supermarket shelves in Australia this week.

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