About us

The Benecol® story

The name Benecol® brings together Bene, meaning "good," and col for "cholesterol." It is the world's best known cholesterol-lowering brand.

Benecol® is the only range of foods to contain plant stanols, a unique cholesterol lowering ingredient. Plant stanols significantly reduce 'bad' cholesterol by partially blocking the entry of cholesterol to the bloodstream.

They occur in miniscule amounts in corn, rye and other plants and have been found for some time to lower cholesterol. However, the challenge was to incorporate them into food in sufficient quantity to have the beneficial cholesterol-lowering effect.

This was the challenge facing Ingmar Wester, a Finnish chemist at his firm Raisio. In 1989, after many years of research he finally developed the solution by cleverly combining plant stanols with rapeseed oil extracts to create Plant Stanol Ester, which could be blended easily into foods without changing their taste or quality.

The world's original cholesterol-lowering food brand

Benecol® foods were launched in 1995 in Finland as part of a major public health initiative to lower the nation's cholesterol. The first Benecol® product was a margarine, which quickly became very popular with Finnish consumers. In fact, the demand was so great that supermarket supplies had to be rationed!

Professor Puska, Director General of Finland's National Public Health Institute, described Benecol® as the initiative's ‘pearl in the crown'.

Following its phenomenal success in Finland, Benecol® foods were launched in Ireland and the UK in 1999, and now the range includes spreads, yogurts and yogurt drinks. 

A top ten nutrition discovery

Plant stanols in Benecol® foods has been selected as one of the world's ten greatest discoveries in nutrition during the past 30 years*, based on the views of the world's leading nutrition researchers and solid research data. The review emphasised the overwhelming research that the plant stanols in Benecol® foods are one of the few functional foods that can truly lower the level of a risk factor for heart disease and have been clinically proven in over 70 clinical studies to significantly lower cholesterol levels.

Today Benecol® foods are preferred and trusted by millions of people around the world for their delicious, convenient and proven way to lower cholesterol.